CHICAGO (Reuters) - New York Times Co said on Thursday it has sold a piece of its stake in the Boston Red Sox baseball team to the chairman emeritus of venture capital firm Greylock Partners.
The deal with Henry McCance for 50 of the media company’s 750 units in New England Sports Ventures (NESV), which owns the Major League Baseball team, reduces the Times’s stake to 16.6 percent from 17.75 percent.
Terms of the deal were not disclosed, but the Times said it expects to record a pretax gain in the second quarter from the sale. It also said it will continue to explore the sale of its remaining stake in whole or in parts.
The Times paid an estimated $75 million for its stake in 2002, before the Red Sox won two World Series, and analysts and bankers had previously said the company was seeking as much as $100 million for its entire stake. It was the second largest stake in NESV behind owner and hedge fund manager John Henry.
However, the Times has previously been forced to reduce its requests as prior to the start of the recession in 2008, speculation had swirled it could raise $200 million or more for the stake. In addition to the recession, the stake’s nonvoting power also hurt its value.
The Times has been working to cut debt as the U.S. newspaper industry loses print edition subscribers and advertisers and more people get news online.
NESV also owns the team’s home field of Fenway Park, adjacent real estate, half of the Roush Fenway Racing NASCAR team and an 80 percent stake in the NESN regional sports cable TV network.
Reporting by Ben Klayman, editing by Dave Zimmerman