SAN FRANCISCO, March 28 The largest public
shareholder of The New York Times Co (NYT.N) has raised its
stake to 19.8 percent, the fourth time it has bought shares
since getting the publisher to support two of its nominees to
its board of directors.
Harbinger Capital Partners said in a filing with the U.S.
Securities and Exchange Commission that it bought 150,000 Class
A shares, bringing its stake to 28.3 million shares.
Based on the Times's closing share price of $18.43 on the
New York Stock Exchange on Friday, Harbinger's stake is worth
$521 million. The Times's market value based on the same
closing price is about $2.6 billion.
Harbinger has not said why it continues to buy shares in
the Times. A spokesman for the group did not return a telephone
call seeking comment.
The hedge fund, along with investment firm Firebrand
partners, bought more than $500 million in New York Times stock
since late December, as part of a push to get four nominees on
the board of the newspaper publisher.
Firebrand's chief, Scott Galloway, a marketing professor at
New York University's Stern School of business, has said the
company should consider selling some of its properties and
invest more in its digital growth.
Galloway also was one of two Harbinger nominees that the
Times earlier this month agreed to support on an expanded
board, after earlier urging shareholders to ignore a rival
proxy filing from Harbinger.
Harbinger's stake in the Times's publicly traded shares is
about the same as the Ochs-Sulzberger family, which bought the
New York Times newspaper in 1896. The family controls the
publisher through a separate class of shares, most of which are
held in a trust.
(Reporting by Robert MacMillan in San Francisco and Kenneth Li
in New York; Editing by Andre Grenon)