Jan 18, 2009

NYT's Mexican bailout plan*

The New York Times is courting Mexican businessman Carlos Slim, who is said to be worth $60 billion, in hopes that he will invest several million dollars in the newspaper company. From the Wall Street Journal:
The talks are ongoing and may yet fall apart but one of the options being discussed is a preferred-stock issue. Under this scenario, the Times Co. would issue Mr. Slim preferred stock, which carries no voting right but pays an annual dividend, in return for his investment. The investment would be similar to a loan. Preferred shares are often convertible into common stock after a defined period.


The Times Co. has about $46 million in cash and $1.1 billion in debt as of the end of September. It has a $400 million credit facility that expires in May, $250 million in notes due in 2010 and another $400 million credit facility due in 2011.
*Update: In related news, New York Times is cracking down on newsroom expenses for meals, travel and association dues. Given that some of the newspapers I worked for refused to approve almost any outside expense, a $30 limit on lunches and $50 limit on dinners sounds rather generous.

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