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Troubled Times: Morgan-Stanley dumps NYT stock

In a clear vote of "no confidence" in management, investment bankers Morgan Stanley sold their entire 10 million share stake in The New York Times, Leon Lazaroff and Jeff Kearns report for Bloomberg:


Morgan Stanley, the second-biggest shareholder in New York Times Co., sold its entire 7.3 percent 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. brokered a $183 million block trade of 10 million New York Times shares this morning.

Hassan Elmasry, managing director of Morgan Stanley Investment Management, unsuccessfully challenged the Sulzberger family's control of New York Times Co. through super-voting stock that gives them a board majority.


Read the whole report at the link above. Clearly, the Sulzberger and Ochs families ought to have found a different position for the ne'er-do-well scion, Pinch. He's run the company and the newspaper into the ground. Perhaps a nice, cushy job in the mail room would have been more suited to his "talents." Ah, well, too late now . . .


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Comments (18)

BWAHHH HAAAHH HaaaAAH HAAAH... (Below threshold)
GianiD:

BWAHHH HAAAHH HaaaAAH HAAAHHH

People are finally catching on to the fact that most of the media possesses a liberal ideology, thus, they present the news accordingly.

The stock has been in a ste... (Below threshold)
Jeff Blogworthy:

The stock has been in a steady downtrend since the beginning of 2004. Why oh why didn't I short it? It was such an obvious play.

The real question is, why did Morgan Stanley hold this dog as long as they did?

One thing to note is that f... (Below threshold)
yetanotherjohn:

One thing to note is that for every seller like Morgan Stanley, there must be a corresponding buyer (who appears to not be identified). The buyer thinks the value will increase over alternate uses of the money.

So the real question is who the buyer is. Is it someone like Soros wanting to increase his control on the left wing surrender monkey cage liner material of choice? Is it some one like Murdoch who thinks he can gain control of the NYT, instal some sensible controls that means the paper is not just a reprint of democratic talking points and thus increase the value of the asset? Or is it someone like Trump who realizes that the building the NYT is in is worth more than all the rest together and plans to shut everything down and sell the assets? Is it another publishing company who thinks the solution to the industry is merger? Or is it just another investment firm who sees things differently?

Find out the buyer and we can see better what this really means.

Perhaps al-Qaeda bought the... (Below threshold)
COgirl:

Perhaps al-Qaeda bought the stock. Not that they had to in order to get their message out. NYT has been one of their long time supporters by virtue of their actions.

I must say that I really en... (Below threshold)
drjohn:

I must say that I really enjoy seeing "NY Times" and "dump" in the same sentence.

If pinch was in the mailroo... (Below threshold)
David:

If pinch was in the mailroom the mail wouldn't get to the editors, oh wait, never mind.

This is non-voting stock. W... (Below threshold)
Actual:

This is non-voting stock. Why anyone would sign up for a ride with Pinch at the controls is beyond me.

More evidence that the fict... (Below threshold)
_Mike_:

More evidence that the fiction genre is saturated.

The buyer may be in this fo... (Below threshold)
LenS:

The buyer may be in this for the real estate. At this point, the NY Times building itself is probably equal in value to the current market value due to the stock price.

Now if the left had the "fa... (Below threshold)
WildWillie:

Now if the left had the "fairness" doctrine, this would not have happened. I am so glad the days of total control of the news by the left is over. ww

No surprise here...Pinch ob... (Below threshold)

No surprise here...Pinch obviously doesn't believe in corporate democracy and will fly this dual voting dictatorship straight into the ground.
Say what you will about corporate America, but at least the auto manufacturers, banks and steel makers are trying to save the ship. Pinch is no Punch.

Here's another dog. Track i... (Below threshold)

Here's another dog. Track its performance since the blogosphere took hold.

http://moneycentral.msn.com/investor/charts/chartdl.aspx?Symbol=CBS&iax=1

Didn't Judy Miller work for... (Below threshold)
Allen:

Didn't Judy Miller work for the Times? Just wondering if maybe she is involved in it.

HughS, the 5 year chart rea... (Below threshold)
COgirl:

HughS, the 5 year chart really shows the decline well. It started in late 2005. Good riddance.

It is not clear that a sing... (Below threshold)

It is not clear that a single buyer or consortium bought the entire block of stock offered. Morgan-Stanley could not handle the trade itself due to conflict of interest, so it was placed with another firm. Part of the shares may have been sold on the open market, and the rest to a large buyer. Volume today was five times normal, at nearly 6.5 million shares, but that of course doesn't begin to cover the 10 million shares offered. It could account for some, or the market may just be running to sell on the news.

Morgan held on this long in an attempt to convince the Sulzberger and Ochs families to give up their close control. They must have believed the rewards if their efforts were successful to be worth the risks. They lost, it seems.

And yes, as LenS suggests, the market price may have fallen so far as to be less than the net value of the assets. The problem for buyers remains, though, the tight control of the founding families, who would likely veto any wholesale liquidation of assets. They already had to endure watching their television holdings auctioned off to cover debt.

The article suggests the price may be low enough for the families to consider taking the company private again. I doubt it. One of the problems has been the need to pay high dividends to keep the families happy, no matter what the business was really earning. That's a big part of the reason they acquiesced to the current arrangement in the first place.

Taking it private again is a suicide mission. The families are on a slow suicide program with Pinch at the helm, sort of like smoking heavily. Going private would deprive them of all that sucker money. They would be putting a gun to their own heads, financially.

The gun is already there. ... (Below threshold)
kim:

The gun is already there. As someone pointed out elsewhere, if the bondholders were doing their jobs the company would be near receivership already, because some of the suckers have quit sucking.

Also, just as the company is leveraged, aren't some of Pinch's relatives leveraged? There should be panic in the family. Maybe there is.
===================================

aren't some of Pinch's r... (Below threshold)
Proof:

aren't some of Pinch's relatives leveraged?
I suspect that many of Pinch's relatives are beveraged!
(They may be in need of a good 12 step program!)

Too bad for the New York Sl... (Below threshold)
Spurwing Plover:

Too bad for the New York Slimes llok like MORGAN STANLEY got tired of the bad smell




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