LAWFUEL – Rupert Murdoch’s purchase of Dow Jones created a firestorm of fees for bankers and lawyers. Among those in the center of the deal-doing was Denver lawyer Lynn Hendrix, representing the biggest trust among the 14 Bancroft family trust based in Denver or nearby.
The past week and a half was exhausting and stressful for Lynn Hendrix: He was on the opposite side of the bargaining table from media tycoon Rupert Murdoch.
“I got no sleep Monday,” said the 56-year-old partner of Denver law firm Holme Roberts & Owen, having been engaged in nonstop phone calls. “I got a little sleep Tuesday night.”
Together, the 14 so-called Denver trusts control 9.1 percent of the voting stock of Dow Jones & Co., publisher of The Wall Street Journal. The trusts – and thus Hendrix’s position – were considered influential in Dow Jones’ sale.
Hendrix and colleagues were responsible for calling the shots on behalf of the big Denver trusts during the three-month saga in which Murdoch sought to win over a significant number of Bancroft trusts around the nation to buy Dow Jones.
The Denver trusts had opposed Murdoch’s $60-a-share offer for Dow Jones’ stock, which totaled $5 billion.
Hendrix, Holme Roberts partner Charles Ramunno and a team of financial advisers had pushed Murdoch’s News Corp. for a richer price on behalf of the trusts.
But Murdoch said no, even though support from the Denver trusts was seen as crucial to landing a deal.
In the end, a block of the Denver trusts accounting for two- thirds, or 6 percent, of the 9.1 percent stake threw their backing behind Murdoch’s offer.
Murdoch’s $60 offer was a 67 percent premium above Dow Jones’ share price when his bid became public.
It was too good a deal to refuse, the reasoning went. Besides, no other offers were on the table.