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June 28, 2006

Direct Action: Hostile Takeover Of The New York Times?

Cold Water: Commenters are telling me, so far, that only family members have Class A stocks, which control the company. Only Class B stocks can be bought, and they're nonvoting.

I wonder if there are any other big papers or wire services which are open to a hostile takeover.

Another Update: Professor Bainbridge on the Times' dual-share system and Morgan Stanley's efforts to fight it.

Thanks to Abe, I think, for that.

...

A commenter noted that the Times has an odd arrangement whereby the Sulzberger family retains control, somehow, despite not having the bulk of voting stocks.

Does anyone know how this arrangement works, exactly? And, more importantly, how it can be undone?

Suppose there are one to three million angry, blog-reading conservatives in total.

Suppose further that each would be willing to buy 5-100 shares, depending on one's resources, if we knew we could, were we to amass a big enough pile of stock between us...

* fire the Sulzberger family

* fire Bill Keller

* and fire Risen and Lichtblau

* and furthermore shitcan them with NO SEVERENCE PACKAGES WHATSOEVER.

Is this possible?

Can we simply cash these fuckers out?

Bear in mind -- the money fronted for this would most likely be lost. We'd immediately alienate the liberal readership of the Times and destroy its reputation by tainting it with conservative ownership. But it might be money well-spent anyway.

First Things First: If anyone knows, please let me know if there's anyway to override the Sulzberger family's control over the company.

And how much stock would it take to take over? Just need a ballpark here.

Hope Springs Eternal? Andy the Squirrel concludes "you can't do anything," but...

Works like this- A shares 4 seats on the board. B shares get 13.

The Och Sulzberger family holds the B's. The B's represent a teeny tiny piece of the equity of the NYT. Basically, they got their cake and ate it too- They retained control, but got the cashola from going public.

Some investors, notably Morgan Stanley, are fighting about this, and withheld their votes for the last board election, along with 23% of the total A-share float.

This whole deal seems pretty hinky. If Morgan Stanley is "fighting it," well...


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posted by Ace at 03:38 PM

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