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Monday, August 24, 2009

The "Dow" is on the Block

by: Sean Hanna, Editor in Chief

The Dow Jones Industrial Average could be getting a new name. Dow Jones has signed on Goldman Sachs to explore a sale of its stock-market indexing business, according to a Wall Street Journal report. The paper reported that Goldman has met with potential buyers but did not provide any names of bidders.

It did point to Morgan Stanley's MSCI Inc. unit as a logical buyer. The Dow Jones indexing arm could be worth as much as $700 million based on the valuation of MSCI of seven times revenue.

Earlier this year News Corp. wrote down $2.8 billion from its valuation of Dow Jones. News Corp. purchased the publisher for $5.3 billion in late 2007.

While it is possible that the unit could be sold, the publisher is also reportedly looking a joint ventures or a "different combination."

The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) remains the benchmark of benchmarks for the stock market, despite a shift by professional investors to relying on the broader Standard & Poor's 500 index.

A rebranding could be the event that enables to S&P 500 to finally overtake the DJIA in the popular mind as well.

To prevent that from happening, Dow Jones is reportedly insisting as a part of any deal that the buyer retain the name for the index. 

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