New York Times Stock Surges on Buyout Rumors

Let’s all hop on for another ride on the New York Times acquisition rumor carousel! As transpired a few months ago, shares of The New York Times Co. are enjoying a nice rally today on apparent speculation that billionaire telecoms magnate, dabbler in New York real estate and Times Co. investor Carlos Slim is once again working on a takeover of the paper of record.

New York Times takeout rumors are as puzzling as they are persistent. The company’s stock is divided into two classes. “Class A” shares, which are available to everyone, participate in the company’s financial ups and downs, but exercise no power over the company’s direction. Members of the Sulzberger clan, meanwhile, control 90 percent of the company’s “Class B” shares, which hold the real power — to elect the majority of board members, for example. Hedge funds like Phil Falcone’s Harbinger Capital have tried to wrest control from the Sulzbergers, to little avail.

Reached by Bloomberg, a Times Co. spokesperson wouldn’t comment, and a Slim spokesman said, “We know nothing about this.”

Shares were lately up 8 percent at $8.35 in late afternoon trading on the New York Stock Exchange. No word yet on the role of a certain Taiwanese Web video in the Times Co.’s recent price surge.