Mexican billionaire Carlos Slim becomes top NYT shareholder

NEW YORK (REUTERS) - Mexican tycoon Carlos Slim has become the largest shareholder of New York Times Co after doubling his stake in the publisher, following other billionaires who have put their faith in the media business.

Amazon.com founder Jeff Bezos bought the Washington Post in 2013 while Mr Warren Buffett has invested in several newspapers.

Entities affiliated with Slim exercised warrants he bought in 2009 when he loaned the company US$250 million (S$333.3 million) during the height of the financial crisis. New York Times, controlled by the Ochs-Sulzberger family through Class B shares, paid back the loan in 2011.

Mr Slim acquired nearly 15.9 million shares of Class A common stock at US$6.36 per share, doubling his stake to 16.8 per cent from 8 per cent. His holding is valued at US$341.4 million, based on the stock's Wednesday closing price of US$12.28.

New York Times intends to use cash proceeds of about US$101.1 million to buy back Class A shares.

New York Times, which has been under pressure to replace an evaporating pool of print advertising dollars with digital ads and money from subscriptions, projected in November a further decline in advertising sales for the current quarter.