Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Money prowls, then pounces. Geffen is trying buy the NYTimes.

At least that's what I heard at Bloomberg TV this morning. Turns out that Harbinger Partners invested $500,000,000 in the NYTimes. As of today, it's worth $125,000,000. Ouch! Now Geffen wants to buy their share. According to Bloomberg they are still haggling over the price.

If I had a global that was mostly owned by a bunch of hedge funds disguised as "institutional investors" I would get to work. My bet is that if the deal goes through, some Board Members are going to get fired.

Now that's a headcount reduction that might actually make some good sense.

added 8:29 AM EDT, from Reuters.

LOS ANGELES/NEW YORK (Reuters) - Media mogul David Geffen tried to buy a stake in the New York Times Co from hedge fund Harbinger Capital Partners, but was rejected, a source with knowledge of the matter said on Monday.

Geffen offered to buy the stake at market price, but Harbinger fund manager Philip Falcone wanted him to pay a premium, according to the source.

The two sides are not currently in talks, said the source, who spoke on condition of anonymity.

Fortune magazine first reported the news on its website in an article that said Times board member Scott Galloway, who was nominated by Harbinger, approached Google Inc co-founder Larry Page to try to get the Internet company to try to buy the Times.

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