Debt May Force Sulzbergers to Sell NYT Stake

Family still spending like it's 1999; Mexico's Slim waits in wings

By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff

Posted May 11, 2009 1:49 PM CDT

(Newser) – The Ochs-Sulzberger family may be forced to sell its controlling interest in the New York Times, according to the rival Post, which helpfully points out that family members are also spending far more than they're pulling down at the paragraph factory. Thanks to the recession and the newspaper’s floundering fortunes, the clan has lost 86% of its personal wealth and might need to sell to get out of debt—shares that would likely end up south of the border.

Mexican billionaire Carlos Slim, meanwhile, could soon own much more of the company. Slim loaned the Times $250 million in a deal that allows the paper to repay him with stock instead of cash. If the paper doesn’t have the cash for its first $47.5 million payment in nine months, it’ll have to hand Slim a whopping 7.9 million shares, based on its shares’ current $6 price.

The New York Times headquarters is shown.   (AP Photo)
Arthur Sulzberger, Jr., the publisher of The New York Times, speaks at a news conference for the introduction of the Kindle DX, May 6, 2009 in New York.   (AP Photo)
The New York Times, center, is sold at a newsstand.   (AP Photo)
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