The richest man in the world will soon be a little richer. The New York Times Co., who put out a newspaper, have announced they will pay back a $250 million debt to Mexican billionaire Carlos Slim by January 2012 instead of the previously agreed upon January 2015, Bloomberg is reporting. The news comes via a Times Co. spokesperson with CEO Janet Robinson saying “that she aims to expand the digital business to help spur growth.” Sounds like a plan!
One of [Slim’s] media interests is the New York Times, who he purchased a 6.4% stake in two years ago, and then gave a $250M loan to last year. The money cost about as much as the loan. The loan also prohibited the Times from incurring any more debt, which puts pressure on the Times to keep costs — like its reporter budget — low. Fewer reporters mean less reporters to report on Slim’s Shady Shenanigans, which we’ll get to in a second. The deal also gave Slim a chance to buy more than 10 percent of the New York Times stock at a pretty decent price. Everyone’s ready to freak out when he does, as evidenced by a routine SEC filing that people mistook for that purchase, that made everyone freak out. There are also constant rumors that he’s going to buy the place, though Slim’s said otherwise.
Today, via Bloomberg, on the Times Co.’s sales:
The shares rose 11 cents to $7.85 in New York Stock Exchange trading on Oct. 1. They have dropped 36 percent this year, compared with a 2.8 percent increase in the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index.
Times Co. forecast third-quarter sales that fell short of some analysts’ projections on Sept. 22. The company, which also owns the Boston Globe and the International Herald Tribune, said circulation revenue would drop about 5 percent in the period.
Best of luck?