With a $400 million revolving credit line expiring in May, the New York Times Company (NYSE: NYT) continues to put its fund-raising ducks in a row. The latest: an SEC filing setting the stage to secure debt or raise equity. The terms in the prospectus are as vague as possible — an unspecified amount, indeterminate price — and meant to allow the company to move fast should it go this route. Times spokeswoman Catherine Mathis explains: ‘In these difficult markets, the company wants to ensure that it has maximum flexibility and, accordingly, is filing a shelf that would permit it to offer both debt and equity.” The Washington Post Company (NYSE: WPO) filed a similar prospectus in November for possible debt securities.
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At the same time, the chatter continues about a sale of the NYTCo’s 17.5 percent stake in New England Sports Ventures, including the Boston Red Sox, and the possibility of a mix that would include the Boston Globe. The latest: denials by Boston Herald publisher Patrick Purcell and Boston ad exec Jack Connors of scenarios laid out in an FT report. The FT said NYTCo began discussions with Connors two weeks ago. Connors is now telling the Globe: “There’s nothing to it,” Connor, who was part of a 2006 effort by former GE chairman Jack Welch: “I’m not buying the Boston Globe. I’m not buying anything that the New York Times owns.’ ‘The Herald variation involved the Ottaway chain and reducing Boston to a one-paper town; Purcell, who owns the Herald, is joining News Corp (NYSE: NWS) to head the chain. He called the report “”completely unfounded and not rooted in reality.”
Photo Credit: Robert Scoble