Biz Week in Review, Aug. 6
Murdock seals $5B deal for Dow Jones
Media mogul Rupert Murdoch will finally get his hands on The Wall Street Journal. The head of News Corp. has pursued a $5 billion bid to buy Dow Jones & Co., the Journal’s publisher, for months. But members of the Bancroft family had been reluctant to sell the company they control, partly because of concerns that Murdoch would meddle with the Journal. Murdoch was never willing to increase the price of his offer, which represented a 65 percent premium for Dow Jones shareholders. But he did agree to the creation of an independent oversight board for the Journal and to pay millions to reimburse the Bancrofts for their legal and banking fees related to the deal. News Corp. and Dow Jones finally sealed the deal on Tuesday after lining up enough support from Bancroft family members.
Greyhound tracks under fire, again
The state’s two dog tracks, Raynham Park and Revere’s Wonderland Greyhound Park, found themselves under attack again, with a group of greyhound advocates resuming the fight to get a bill passed that would ban greyhound racing in the state. The advocates submitted a request to the state Attorney General’s office to put a racing ban up for a statewide vote through a ballot question next year. A previous attempt to pass a dog-racing ban by statewide referendum failed by a slim margin in 2000.
Boston Beer Co. to buy Pennsylvania brewery
The Boston Beer Co. is making a big investment far from its namesake city, with a $55 million deal to buy an underused brewery just outside of Allentown, Pa. The deal, if it comes to fruition, would mean the South Boston-based manufacturer of Samuel Adams beers would abandon its plans for a local brewery off Route 24 in Freetown. Company officials said construction costs had escalated past $200 million, making the brewery purchase in Pennsylvania more financially feasible than new construction.
Emergency workers union wins 1, loses 1
An upstart California-based emergency workers union has had a busy week. On Sunday, the National Emergency Medical Services Association scored a victory, lining up a contract with American Medical Response that included modest pay raises for nearly 1,000 ambulance workers in New England on the eve of a proposed strike. But NEMSA was dealt a setback on Tuesday following an organizing drive at Quincy-based Fallon Ambulance Service, as workers overwhelmingly voted to go without union representation in the future.