Media baron Michael Bloomberg, the owner of Bloomberg News, is reportedly interested in acquiring either The Wall Street Journal parent company Dow Jones or The Washington Post newspaper, American news website Axios reported on Friday, citing a source.
In an attempt to expand his media empire, the billionaire sees Dow Jones as his “ideal fit”, but would purchase The Washington Post "if Jeff Bezos were interested in selling", the Axios report said.
In October, the two divisions of Mr Murdoch’s media business — News Corp and Fox Corp — said they were considering coming together nearly a decade after the two companies split. The boards of both companies have established committees to assess a likely deal.
However, last month, Mr Murdoch’s proposal faced an opposition from Independent Franchise Partners, one of the largest shareholders in both companies. The London-based company said other options, such as a breakup of News Corp, should also be explored.
“[Mr] 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,” Axios reported.
Mr Bloomberg has not yet approached Mr Murdoch about his interest, nor has he begun to engage any official third parties, like bankers, to evaluate the opportunity, it added.
Mr Bloomberg is friendly with, but not close to Mr Bezos, the source said, as quoted by Axios.
Mr Bezos, founder of the world’s biggest e-commerce company, Amazon, purchased The Washington Post for $250 million in 2013.
Mr Bloomberg might try to merge any title he acquired with Bloomberg Media to create a robust news empire, the report said.
In 2011, Bloomberg announced it was purchasing Bureau of National Affairs for nearly $990 million.
In December 2015, it entered into an agreement to acquire Barclays Risk Analytics and Index Solutions, a leading provider of benchmark and strategy indices, portfolio analytics, risk and attribution models, and portfolio construction tools.