Bloomberg says no interest in acquiring Dow Jones or Washington Post

Rejecting the media speculations about new acquisitions, a spokesperson for Bloomberg LP on Sunday said they had no interest in acquiring either Dow Jones or the Washington Post.

“There have been no conversations with anyone or either organization about an acquisition,” Ty Trippet said in the tweet, which was retweeted by billionaire owner Michael Bloomberg.

Earlier on Friday, News Corp shares gained 2.8 percent after it was reported that Bloomberg had interested in acquiring the company’s Dow Jones unit.

It all started when Axios, citing a source, reported on Friday that Bloomberg was interested in acquiring either Wall Street Journal parent company Dow Jones or the Washington Post.

“Bloomberg wants to expand his media empire and sees Dow Jones as his ideal fit, but he would buy the Post if Jeff Bezos were interested in selling,” the report claimed, adding that the combination of Bloomberg and Dow Jones would create an unparalleled business news behemoth.

Bloomberg is close to Dow Jones parent News Corp’s owner, Rupert Murdoch, and believes efforts to merge News Corp and its sister company Fox Corporation will fail, creating a possible opening.

At least one activist investor has said that they would rather News Corp spin off parts of its business — either its real estate platform or Dow Jones — to unlock value for investors.

Still, Bloomberg has not yet approached Murdoch about his interest, nor has he begun to engage any official third parties, like bankers, to evaluate the opportunity.

Bloomberg is friendly with, but not close to, Bezos, the source said. He sees the Post combined with Bloomberg as a formidable potential competitor to the New York Times.

A Dow Jones deal would give Bloomberg access to a premiere business title that could be leveraged to sell more subscriptions to the Bloomberg Terminal, a real-time data, news and analysis platform for financial professionals.

Subscriptions to the Terminal make up the vast majority of Bloomberg LP’s revenue, which surpassed $10 billion for the first time in 2018.

Bloomberg’s news offering, powered by Bloomberg Media — a separate division within Bloomberg LP — has helped the Terminal differentiate itself from other data and analysis platforms on Wall Street.

However, Axios in its report that News Corp declined to comment on the claim while a Washington Post spokesperson said, “The Post is not for sale.”

Axios noted that Bloomberg had a history of acquiring professional news companies and folding them into its media strategy.

Bloomberg LP bought what was then a professional services news and research group called the Bureau of National Affairs, or BNA, for around $990 million in 2011. Bloomberg BNA is now called Bloomberg Industry Group and includes subdivisions focused on topics like legal reporting.

The company acquired a portfolio benchmark and strategy indices business from Barclays in 2016 and eventually rebranded it as Bloomberg Indices after a five-year co-branding agreement with Barclays expired.

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