Sheriff Greenspan Rides In to Rescue Dow from the Bad Guys

24 July 2007

NEW YORK: On a snowy steed and wearing a white Stetson, lone gun Brad Greenspan moseyed into the badlands of downtown Manhattan with the intention of doin' whatta man's gotta do - rescue the beleaguered homesteading family Bancroft and its lush Dow Jones ranch from the black-hatted Murdocheros.

Internet entrepreneur Greenspan, an early investor in social networking site MySpace, is familiar with the Murdocheros' tactics, the site having been subsequently acquired by News Corporation.

In an open letter to Dow Jones' stockholders Greenspan floated an ingenious counter-proposal to recapitalise and reinvest in DJ via an unknown entity called the Journal Investment Group.

An especially canny element of the plan allows for a loan of up to $600 million (€433.8m; £291.7m) to enable those Bancroft family members who want to accept Greenspan's deal to buy-out those who don't.

Having gained the acceptance of a majority of Bancroft votes, Dow and Greenspan would issue billions of dollars in debt to buy out half the common shareholders at $60 per share - the price offered by NewsCorp - plus $500m to fund new media initiatives, including online video and financial sites.

As Greenspan enquired rhetorically in his letter to DJ stockholders: "Why let [NewsCorp's] shareholders reap the benefits while Dow Jones shareholders down the road will question why they received only $60 per share?"

Clan Bancroft met yesterday (Monday) to discuss the Murdoch bid and the result - expected within seven days - is thought to be too close to call. It might just be that Greenspan's eleventh-hour intervention could thwart the media mogul's prime ambition.

Hi-Yo Silver!

Data sourced from Financial Times; additional content by WARC staff