Harbinger Battle Over Times Heats Up

Feb 22 2008 | 12:00pm ET

The battle lines have been drawn in what is shaping up to be a proxy fight between a pair of activist hedge funds and The New York Times Co.

Harbinger Capital Partners and Firebrand Partners have upped their stake in the Gray Lady to 15.6% over the past two days, and are now the largest shareholders in the publisher. Meanwhile, the war of words between the two sides is heating up, after the Times Co. said it opposed Harbinger’s proxy.

In a preliminary proxy filing, Times Co. Chairman Arthur Sulzberger “urges [shareholders] not to sign or return any proxy card that you may receive from Harbinger,” and instead to vote for the company’s own slate of investors.

Harbinger, which called the Times Co.’s move “disappointing,” shot back.

“As the company’s largest shareholder, with over 15% of the Class A shares, we are particularly concerned that the company refused to interview any of our nominees despite our repeated offers to meet at their convenience,” the Birmingham, Ala.-based hedge fund said in a statement.

“Shareholders are faced with a clear choice: to support directors that have been hand-picked by the current Board, or truly independent directors put forward by the largest shareholder who is already effecting positive change.”

Harbinger and Firebrand have hired proxy solicitor DF King, and expects to file its preliminary proxy next week.

The hedge fund group, which wants the Times Co. to focus more on its digital media business, has proffered candidates for all four of the Class A board seats. To date, the Times Co. has only nominated one. Nine of the company’s directors are elected by the Times Co.’s controlling Sulzberger family, who own its Class B shares.

RELATED ARTICLES:

Times Preps For Proxy Fight Over Board Seats
Hedge Funds Double New York Times Stake 
Harbinger Denies Hostile Intentions Towards Media General
Stop The Presses: Hedge Fund Seeks Times Board Seats


In Depth

High Time For A Cannabis Hedge Fund?

Sep 30 2014 | 7:07am ET

Launching a hedge fund is always a gamble, but Leslie Bocskor's decision to launch...

Lifestyle

Griffin Donates $1M To Rauner's Illinois Gov. Campaign

Sep 22 2014 | 9:29am ET

Hedge fund billionaire Kenneth Griffin definitely has a dog in this fight. The Citadel...

Guest Contributor

Appraisal Ratio Key To Evaluating Hedge Funds And Other New Investments

Sep 29 2014 | 3:07pm ET

As a former finance professor Peter Hecht experiences heartburn every time he hears...

 

Videos

Editor's Note

    Must Attend Hedge Fund Charity Events For October

    Sep 30 2014 | 9:29am ET

    The crisp Autumnal days of October are upon us, and so are a few of the hedge fund industry’s favorite charitable events. If you have never been to Rocktoberfest, well, you are missing out. And for a quieter evening of sipping and socializing, stop by HFC’s Wine Soiree. Read more…

 

Futures Magazine

September 2014 Cover

High frequency market making

High frequency trading is not evil, it is not a conspiracy and it really is not new; it is the natural evolution of the professional trading community making markets, providing liquidity and hopefully...

The Alpha Pages

TAP July/August 2014 Cover

The Alpha Pages Interview: Senator Rand Paul

Senator Paul sat down in the debut series of the Alpha Pages Interview to discuss the broken tax code, regulation surrounding Bitcoin, and his plans for the 2016 Presidential election.