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More than a year after The New York Times Co. (NYSE: NYT) decided the Boston Globe was worth more inside the company than it could make from a sale, a group of investors wants to buy the paper and the rest of the New England Media group. That includes Boston.com and the Worcester Telegram & Gazette. For now, though, it looks a lot more like talk than action: NYT spokesman Bob Christie says the company hasn’t received an offer. Would it sell?
The official statement sounds like a no: “We do not comment on rumors of acquisitions or divestitures. The Boston Globe is an important part of The New York Times Company. The Globe has made excellent progress and is on solid financial footing. Its continued digital and print progress signals a strong future.”
But it’s a public company and credible offers have to be considered. It would be a lot easier if the group wanted to buy the Boston asset that is for sale and has been for a year — the company’s holding in Boston Red Sox owner New England Sports Ventures (now also the owner of Liverpool LFC).
Entrepreneur Aaron Kushner told the Globe that he and a dozen or so other investors have formed a group called The 2100 Trust that plans to make a bid that would be attractive. NYTCo acquired the Globe in 1993 for $1.1 billion. The decision not to sell followed a dramatic showdown with unions resulting in $20 million in cost cuts.
The group’s statement, published in full with the news story at Boston.com late this afternoon, says in part:
“The Boston Globe has been a pillar in the city, the Commonwealth and the region for more than a century. We believe that The Boston Globe’s strongest days can be ahead. It is essential that the Globe be positioned for its next 100 years. This will require the significant long-term investment that we intend to make. One of the principal areas of investment will be the newsroom, which is due for a significant increase.”
They promise to send a letter of intent.