While investors have told him it would be next to impossible, Hank Greenberg and an unnamed investor appear to be buying up shares of the New York Times Co. with the goal of buying the entire company from the Sulzberger family. CNBC’s Power Lunch:
SUE HERERA: CHARLIE GASPARINO JOINS US NOW WITH HIS STREET STORIES THAT HE’S HEARING ABOUT THE REPORT IN THE NEW YORK POST, CHARLIE, THAT HANK GREENBERG IS BUYING SHARES OF NEW YORK TIMES COMPANY. YOU THINK HE WANTS TO BE MORE THAN JUST AN INVESTOR HERE, RIGHT?
CHARLIE GASPARINO: YEAH, I THINK THIS STORY GOES BEYOND HIM TRYING TO BE AN ACTIVIST SHAREHOLDER TO GET THE FAMILY TO PRODUCE MORE PROFITS FOR SHAREHOLDERS. FROM WHAT I UNDERSTAND, HANK GREENBERG IS ACTIVELY ENGAGED IN TRYING TO BUY THE ENTIRE NEW YORK TIMES COMPANY. THAT HE HAS APPROACHED INVESTMENT BANKERS AND ASKED THEM IF THEY WOULD WORK FOR HIM SO THEY COULD PUT TOGETHER SOME SORT OF A PLAN TO TAKE OVER THE NEW YORK TIMES COMPANY. NOW, INVESTMENT BANKERS HAVE TOLD HIM IT WOULD BE NEXT TO IMPOSSIBLE. IF NOT IMPOSSIBLE, BECAUSE LET’S FACE IT, THE NEW YORK TIMES HAS TWO CLASSES OF STOCK, THE FAMILY CONTROLS THE VOTING STOCK WHICH MAKES IT DIFFICULT FOR HANK GREENBERG TO COME IN THERE OR ESSENTIALLY ANY INVESTOR TO COME IN THERE AND BUY THE COMPANY. BUT GREENBERG IS INTENT ON PUSHING THE ENVELOPE ON THIS.
Sources said Greenberg views the Times, which has a market cap of $3.3 billion, as a top-flight brand but one with an “artificially depressed” stock price.