Harbinger Trims its New York Times Co. Stake

By: Mark Fitzgerald Harbinger Capital Partners -- the hedge fund that in early 2008 amassed a nearly 20% stake in The New York Times Co. in a successful bid to get representatives on the publisher's board of directors -- disclosed in a regulatory filing it has sold off 5 million shares of the company.

The sale, at $8.25 a share on Sept. 17, reduced its stake to 25,538,434 shares, or 16.38% of shares outstanding.

The last time Harbinger reported its ownership, on June 30, it had exactly 3 million more shares, a 19.82% stake.

A Harbinger spokesperson told The Wall Street Journal that Times Co. stock remains a "core holding" of the hedge fund, and that the sale had been made as part of regular portfolio balancing.

Harbinger had taken heavy paper losses on the stock, which trades on the New York Stock Exchange under the NYT symbol, when the share price collapsed along with all other publicly traded newspaper companies in late 2008.

This summer, however, Times Co. stock bounced back from an all-time low of $3.44 a share to trade around the $8 a share level. In early trading Tuesday, the stock was selling for $8.37 a share, up 31 cents, or 3.8%, from the open.

For more details on the Harbinger disclosure, check out E&P's business-oriented Fitz & Jen blog.


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