Mexican Telecoms Billionaire Takes $250m Stake in New York Times

20 January 2009

NEW YORK: Carlos Slim Helu (pictured), the planet's second richest man, worth a reported $60 billion (€45.21bn; £40.21bn), is in negotiation with the New York Times Company with a view to acquiring a stake in the struggling newspaper publisher.

Although details of the talks are scant, word is that the Mexico-domiciled telecoms tycoon is considering taking a preferred-stock issue. Although this confers no voting rights, it would be highly unlikely that Slim's views would go unheeded in the NYT boardroom.

Such an investment is similar to a loan and pays an annual dividend. Moreover, preferred shares are frequently convertible  into common stock after an agreed period.

  • News Flash
    Tuesday's New York Times reports that a deal was struck late Monday evening, under which the publishing group will receive a $250 million lifeline from the Mexican mogul.

    The publisher said it would use the proceeds to refinance a $400m debt facility due in May.

    Says NYTC ceo Janet Robinson: “We continue to explore other financing initiatives and are focused on reducing our total debt through the cash we generate from our businesses and the decisive steps we have taken to reduce costs, lower capital spending, decrease our dividend and rebalance our portfolio of assets."

  • Data sourced from New York Times; additional content by WARC staff