An Alabama-based hedge fund called Harbinger Capital has notified the New York Times Company that it will put 4 board members up for election at the April 22 annual meeting. The Times acknowledged receiving the notification and announced that it will soon
tell Harbinger to take a hike make a recommendation to its shareholders.
Four board members, if elected, would not give Harbinger control of the board (which has 13 members) or the company, which has a dual-class of stock (the Sulzbergers’ class elects 9 of the 13 members). What will eventually give someone control of the company is continued plummeting of the stock, which has now fallen to $14.60.
The lower the stock drops, the more the door opens for an aggressive bidder to make a pre-emptive offer like the one News Corp made for the Wall Street Journal. Once that happens, the Sulzbergers won’t want to sell, but if the offer is high enough and they don’t accept it, the rest of the shareholders will revolt.
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