The New York Times says Carlos Slim has become its biggest shareholder after the Mexican billionaire exercised an option to buy about 16 million shares. But control of the company remains with the Sulzberger family.
US media company New York Times (NYT) announced Wednesday that Carlos Slim had boosted his stake in the company, exercising an option to convert some $100 million (117 million euros) from loans to equity.
In a statement the newspaper company said the Mexican billionaire had agreed to buy 15.9 million Class A shares at $6.35 a share, roughly half the stock's current market price.
The business tycoon is the world's second-richest person with an estimated net worth of $72 billion and has built his fortune on a range of interests in retail, industrial and telecom companies around the world.
The purchase brings his stake in NYT to about 27.8 million Class A shares, or 16.8 percent. It follows a deal in 2009 in which Slim agreed to lend the company $250 million as the prestigious US daily was desperate for cash amid the financial crisis.
Control of the media company, however, will remain with the Sulzberger family, which holds 90 percent of Class B shares that aren't publicly traded and have greater voting rights.
In October, the publisher announced it had narrowed its losses from the third quarter a year ago, while touting progress in its transition to a digital news operation. The loss of $12.5 million in the quarter compared with a deficit of $24.2 million a year earlier, while revenues edged up one percent to $206.7 million.
uhe/sgb (AP, AFP)