Harbinger Folds Some Bets on NYT Co. as Stock Heads South

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By: Mark Fitzgerald

Harbinger Capital Partners Master Fund, which holds a 19.3% stake in The New York Times Co., made even bigger bets over the summer that the publisher’s stock would rise. With Times Co. stock down by about 50% since then, Harbinger is cutting its losses on certain of those bets.

In about 30 “equity swaps” with a London-based brokerage firm that specializes in derivatives, Harbinger bet on the price change of millions of “notional” shares of Times Co. Without any stock actually changing hands, Harbinger took a “long” position that they would rise, and stands to collect or pay out the difference in the price of the stock at the time of the swap and when it concludes.

In filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission, Harbinger said the stock price at the time the swaps were begun ranged from $12.84 a share to $15.96. Harbinger said it concluded two of those swaps at $7.47 a share last Friday, and $7.19 on Monday.

More details on the swaps and background on Harbinger are at the Fitz & Jen blog.

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