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Could New Neighbors Be Wall Street Journal Heirs?

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NEW MARLBOROUGH, Mass — Realtor Lance Vermeulen refused to name who purchased nearly 300 acres of land on Canaan Southfield Road for $4.3 million but iBerkshires has a guess.

Your new neighbors may be Amy Selinger and Mark Elefante – a young couple with ties to the former Wall Street Journal publisher Dow Jones and Co. It could also be one of the Bancrofts themselves – who inherited the Wall Street Journal and made $1.2 billion on its 2007 sale.

Here's how we came up with that.

The property listed at 2128 Canaan Southfield Road was sold to the holding company Vergelegen LLC, according to state land records. The Secretary of State's corporation database shows the agent of the holding company to be Elefante. The holding company's address is the same as the law firm Hemenway and Barnes, which is also noted in the land transfer paperwork.

An attorney with Hemenway and Barnes acted as lead trustee for the sale of Dow Jones and Co. to News Corp. – Rupert Murdoch's empire – in 2007. And that attorney's name..... drumroll please.... Michael Elefante. Michael Elefante is also authorized to execute documents through Vergelegen LLC. 

Michael Elefante joined Hemenway and Barnes in 1970 and served as a director of Dow Jones & Co. – serving with the Bancrofts. Michael was the lead trustee for the Dow Jones Co. His son Mark Elefante joined the law firm later.

But we are not done yet. There are some other factors that lead us to bet on him.

Mark Elefante studied at Williams College and he married Selinger in 2009. Williams students are known to return to the area.

They were both 29 at the time and Vermeulen said that it was a young couple looking for a second home who purchased the property.

Next we have the land itself. The land has three buildings: a 2,100-square-foot farmhouse and two smaller 1,000-square-foot dwellings. Pretty good land for farming and horse-breeding, we would think. With ties to the Bancroft family, we could suspect the Elefantes run in similar circles and Wikipedia says the Bancrofts enjoy farming and horse-breeding.

We do wonder if maybe Mark Elefante is using his holding company to conceal the name for a client. He does specialize in land acquisition.

The Bancrofts are notoriously reclusive from media coverage and the town does not see the spotlight often.

Anybody have the inside scoop or other guesses?

Tags: Wall Street Journal, New Marlborough, Land      

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