Trump Campaign: New York Times Illegally Obtained Tax Records
The Mexican billionaire Carlos Slim Helú has more than doubled his stake in The New York Times Company, to nearly 17 percent, the company said on Wednesday.
His monopoly is so dominant that it cost Mexicans an extra $13 billion a year between 2005 and 2009, according to the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development. Still, his wealth, armies of lawyers and government connections kept him a step ahead of weak regulators, former officials say.Mr. Slim exercised warrants to acquire nearly 16 million shares of the company’s Class A stock at a price of over $6.36 a share, the company said, increasing his stake from 7 percent. He now owns nearly 28 million shares in total.
The company received more than $100 million in the transaction, it said, which it intends to use to repurchase Class A shares — a different category from the controlling Class B shares held by the Sulzberger family.
ALTUISTIC AT ONLY 14% INTEREST
Mr. Slim, who made his money in telecommunications across Latin America, is one of the world’s richest people, worth about $72 billion, according to Forbes. He lent the Times Company $250 million, at an interest rate of 14 percent, in 2009; at the time, with the world economy struggling and credit tight, the company looked to be in peril. The loan was repaid in 2011, more than three years before it was due. But the warrants, which expired this month, were issued in connection with that deal.“The option is a lower price,” Mr. Slim said in an interview with Reuters last July. “I’m sure we should exercise the option, but we look at it like a financial investment that has been very good.”
The company’s shares ended trading on Wednesday at $12.28.
The Times Company’s chief executive, Mark Thompson, said in a statement that a repurchasing of shares was the best use of the cash from Mr. Slim.
“We believe it is in the best interests of the company to continue to maintain a conservative balance sheet, and a prudent view on the allocation of free cash flow,” he said, “and this one-off repurchase program should not be viewed as a change of position about our capital allocation plans.”
The company recently completed a round of buyouts and layoffs in the newsroom of The New York Times after a year of tumult. Last May, Jill Abramson was dismissed as executive editor and replaced with her deputy, Dean Baquet.
New ventures like iPhone apps failed to generate significant immediate revenue. Though its digital subscriptions have grown, The Times has been scrambling to make up for the declines in lucrative print advertising that have rocked traditional news organizations as online outlets, and social media, have proliferated.
In a call with analysts late last year, Mr. Thompson said the new products reflected a desire to be “unashamedly experimental and willing to adapt.” The chief financial officer, James M. Follo, said the company was “still in the early stages of a multiyear transformation.”
Since taking over the newsroom leadership, Mr. Baquet has invested in an audience development team with the aim of broadening the reach of Times journalism.
“The only news here is that the more than 20-year-old alleged tax document was illegally obtained, a further demonstration that the New York Times, like establishment media in general, is an extension of the Clinton campaign, the Democratic Party and their global special interests,” the campaign said in a statement.
On Saturday evening, the New York Times — which recently endorsed Hillary Clinton for president — published three pages of Trump’s 1995 income tax documents.
“The pages were mailed last month to Susanne Craig, a reporter at The Times who has written about Mr. Trump’s finances,” the paper explained in the story. “The documents were the first page of a New York State resident income tax return, the first page of a New Jersey nonresident tax return and the first page of a Connecticut nonresident tax return.”
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