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October 17, 2007

Hard Times: Morgan Stanley Sells Off Entire NYT Stake, Other Institutional Holders Likely To Follow Suit

Meh. I don't think the douchey Sulzberger family cares that much. They're rich enough to not care about money, and to imagine the family will always have it.

There's a bit of an asterisk on this story as it seems to come from one source, though neither Morgan Stanley or the NYT is commenting, which suggests it's for realies.

Morgan Stanley, the second-biggest shareholder in New York Times Co., sold its entire stake today, according to a person briefed on the transaction, sending the stock to its lowest in more than 10 years.

The person declined to be identified because Morgan Stanley hasn't made the sale public yet. Traders with knowledge of the transaction said Merrill Lynch & Co. sold New York Times stock worth $183 million in a block trade.


...

New York Times shares slid 48 cents, or 2.5 percent, to $18.43 at 12:44 p.m. in New York Stock Exchange composite trading and fell as low as $18.28, a level not seen since January 1997.

If Elmasry has sold the stock, ``it's almost a dead certainty there would be a bailout of other institutional holders,'' Bibb said in an interview. ``If that happens and there is a sharp drop in the share price, the Sulzbergers have to sit down and decide whether now is not a good time to take the company private.'

But the Sulzbergers would presumably come out ahead -- outside investors bought high, and now the family would be buying them back out at, I imagine, a sharply lowered price. The difference went into their pockets and would stay there.

Kind of like Enron. Perhaps former Enron advisor Paul Krugman will take this opportunity to expound on callous plutocrats preying on middle class investors.


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posted by Ace at 03:24 PM

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