NYT Courts Investment From Mexican Billionaire

Telecom magnate may get preferred stock in arrangement for battered newspaper
By Amelia Atlas,  Newser User
Posted Jan 18, 2009 10:27 AM CST
Billionaire Carlos Slim during a news conference in Mexico City last year.    (AP Photo/Gregory Bull)
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(Newser) – The New York Times is in talks with Mexican telecom billionaire and current shareholder Carlos Slim about making a significant investment in the beleaguered newspaper, reports the Wall Street Journal. One possibility under discussion is a preferred-stock arrangement, which would be similar to a loan. Slim's investment would earn him an annual dividend, though no voting stake.

Another potential investor is Harbinger Capital Partners, a hedge fund with seats on the board of the Times. But the paper's declining value makes it doubtful that they would commit more capital. The Times, which has a $1.1 billion debt, has suffered as readers migrate to the web. Slim, who is worth an estimated $60 billion, seeks no management role. But he does see a chance to get in on a "great" company at an "attractive" price, said a spokesman.