Saturday, May 12, 2007
It's been apparent since Murdoch made his bid for Dow Jones that the controlling group, usually referred to as the "secretive" Bancroft family, is not a unified group. A front page story in the Saturday Wall St. Journal gives a long history of the various branches of the family (a good example of the long, detailed story Murdoch says he's impatient with). What is relevant on the issue of control is that the Bancroft family's Dow Jones shares is held in more than twenty trusts, each with its own set of beneficiaries that overlap with beneficiaries of other trusts. Most of the trust have two to four trustees and require unanimous decision-making. The trusts do not generally require that the trustees maximize the value of their holdings. See WSJ, For Bancrofts, Dow Jones Offer Poses Challenge.