State-controlled Russian gas giant Gazprom tried to outbid a $5 billion offer for The Wall Street Journal’s publisher, Dow Jones & Co., from media giant News Corporation, The Times reported.
The British paper, owned by Australian media mogul Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp., said Monday the bid underscored “Gazprom’s and Russia’s global ambitions,” but that it had had little chance of success. “If Gazprom had proceeded, it is thought highly unlikely that The Wall Street Journal would have been allowed to fall into the hands of a state-backed Russian company,” the Times said.
The newspaper highlighted the Russian energy giant’s media acquisitions, in particular its takeover of the previously-independent Russian TV channel NTV in 2001, and its buyout of national daily Izvestia. News Corp. offered $60 a share for Dow Jones on May 1, a premium of around 67% on the company’s share price before Murdoch’s bid was announced. According to The Times, the US Securities and Exchange Commission confirmed that “an international oil and gas company” had bid for Dow Jones. The paper cited “a source” who confirmed that the company was Gazprom. (rian.ru)