Boston Globe Sold to Red Sox's Henry for $70Million

Reply Sat 3 Aug, 2013 10:46 am
Boston Globe to Be Sold to Red Sox’s Henry for $70 Million (2)
By Edmund Lee

New York Times Co. (NYT:US), which put its Boston Globe newspaper up for sale this year, agreed to sell the publication to John Henry, owner of the Boston Red Sox baseball team, for $70 million in cash.

The deal is $40 million short of the $110 million in pension liabilities said to be owed by the Globe properties collectively known as the New England Media Group, and is expected to close in 30 to 60 days. The sale also includes the Globe website, the Boston.com website, the Worcester Telegram & Gazette, a 49 percent stake in Metro Boston, and the Globe’s direct-mail marketing company GlobeDirect, the New York Times said in a statement.

“This is a thriving, dynamic region that needs a strong, sustainable Boston Globe playing an integral role in the community’s long-term future,” Henry said in a separate statement. “In coming days there will be announcements concerning those joining me in this community commitment and effort.”

Times Co. put the Globe up for sale in February and hired Evercore Partners Inc. (EVR:US) to manage the process, part of an effort to focus on its flagship New York Times media brand. New York Times, which bought the Globe for $1.1 billion 20 years ago, mostly in stock, is coping with an industrywide decline in advertising that has caused a drop in sales and stock prices. Bids for the Globe were expected to be in the range of $100 million, people familiar with the matter said this year.


The Globe’s average weekday circulation, including digital editions, reached 245,572 this year, less than half of its readership in 1993 when Times Co. bought the paper, according to the Alliance for Audited Media. The newspaper ranks 24th in circulation among U.S. newspapers, putting it behind the San Diego Union-Tribune, the Las Vegas Review-Journal and the Honolulu Star-Advertiser, according to the Alliance.

“As a result of this agreement, we will be able to sharpen our company focus on and investments in The New York Times brand and its journalism,” New York Times Chief Executive Officer Mark Thompson said in the statement.

Interested parties included Rick Daniels, a former president of the Globe, and ex-Time Inc. CEO Jack Griffin, in partnership with cousins Steven and Ben Taylor, whose family once owned the newspaper, the people said.

Shares Climb

Times Co. rose 1.4 percent, or 16 cents, to $11.93 in New York Stock Exchange composite trading yesterday. The shares are up 40 percent this year, headed for the biggest annual advance since 2009.

The publisher, controlled by the Ochs-Sulzberger family, had worked on a plan to sell the Globe since 2012, when it received an unsolicited bid from Daniels, along with Heberden Ryan, a managing director of private-equity firm Boston Post Partners LLC, a person familiar with the matter has said. While their bid was about $100 million, it included contingencies that made it less attractive, the person said.

New York Times has rebuffed proposals that exceeded $100 million in the past. In 2011, Freedom Communications Inc. CEO Aaron Kushner, publisher of the Orange County Register and other California papers, offered more than $300 million, according to another person familiar with the deal who asked not to be identified because the matter was private. His offer included the assumption of both qualified and unqualified pensions. Times Co. turned down the offer because it didn’t include enough cash up front, according to another person, who also requested not to be named because the talks weren’t public.

Pension Liabilities

The New England Media Group, the division that manages the Globe, has about $110 million in pension liabilities, people familiar with the matter said in June.

Times Co. preferred cash to help offset the liabilities, rather than bids that assume even part of them, one of the people said. Such bids would be less attractive because the Globe’s pension liabilities would revert back to Times Co. if a new owner of the Boston newspaper were to become insolvent, the people said.

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Reply Sat 3 Aug, 2013 11:33 am
70 mil CASH? geez, who can come up with that kind of ready-cash?
Reply Sat 3 Aug, 2013 11:45 am
Now you know why Red Sox tickets are not cheap.
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Reply Sat 3 Aug, 2013 07:18 pm
Glad to see it. It sounds like someone who is more about having a solid news organization in the community is now involved instead of someone driven by the bottom line.
Reply Sun 4 Aug, 2013 09:56 am
Time will tell.
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Reply Sun 4 Aug, 2013 11:49 am
I hope the Red Sox stop giving interviews to that glorified tabloid, the Boston Herald.
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Reply Mon 5 Aug, 2013 05:16 pm
PUNKEY wrote:

70 mil CASH? geez, who can come up with that kind of ready-cash?

forget $ 70 mil cash

now it's $250 mil cash being paid for a paper (and affiliated publications)


The Washington Post Co. has agreed to sell its flagship newspaper to Amazon.com founder and chief executive Jeffrey P. Bezos, ending the Graham family’s stewardship of one of America’s leading news organizations after four generations.

Bezos, whose entrepreneurship has made him one of the world’s richest men, will pay $250 million in cash for The Post and affiliated publications to The Washington Post Co., which owns the newspaper and other businesses.

The company has agreed to sell its flagship newspaper to the Amazon.com founder and chief executive.

Seattle-based Amazon will have no role in the purchase; Bezos himself will buy the news organization and become its sole owner when the sale is completed, probably within 60 days. The Post Co. will change to a new, still-undecided name and continue as a publicly traded company without The Post thereafter./quote]
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