David Faber, the CNBC reporter who first broke the news that Rupert Murdoch had offered $5 billion to buy Dow Jones, is now reporting that Dow Jones will agree to the sale.
According to Faber, a "definitive agreement" is expected from the Dow Jones board tonight. You can click through here to see CNBC video of his report.
A print extract accompanying the video presently reads in part:
"It did come awfully close, in fact, closer than many had anticipated," Faber said. "But at the end of the day, according to people who were working on this, a number of the Bancrofts who had been somewhat vocal in their opposition–Chris Bancroft for example–seemed suddenly at the realization that they were going to have to pay all these banking fees said 'Wait a second. Hey, if you pay my fees, I'll give you my vote.' And that may have turned it."
This morning's Wall Street Journal reported that as of late last night, Christopher Bancroft had still not agreed to suport the bid or to the fees deal. It was unclear whether Faber had knowledge that Mr. Bancroft had since been moved on the issue when the CNBC report came out this morning.
We'll be watching to see if this pans out.
The Dow Jones board is expected to meet tonight at 7 p.m.; the News Corp. board has a meeting at 4 p.m. at which board members will probably be told the result of the Bancroft family's internal negotiations.
So it's possible that a deal could be pretty much confirmed even earlier than Faber predicts, like this afternoon. But then, as one source told The Los Angeles Times, "I'd be very surprised if [The Bancrofts] acted any differently from how they have all along—confused and tardy."