Mexican billionaire Carlos Slim sells off half of NY Times shares

Mexican billionaire Carlos Slim sells off half of NY Times shares
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The New York Times's largest shareholder, Mexican telecommunications billionaire Carlos Slim, sold half of his common stock and warrants in the company, valued at about $240 million, on Tuesday.

Slim provided a $250 million loan to the newspaper back in 2009 with the company struggling following the 2008 recession.

The newspaper paid the loan off six years ago, but Slim exercised his option on warrants to purchase shares at a discounted price.

The sell-off was made public in an appendix to a regulatory filing on Dec. 4 that was first reported by Bloomberg News on Tuesday.

“Carlos Slim became a shareholder of The New York Times Co. at a critical time in the company’s history,” a company spokeswoman said Tuesday.

“We are grateful for Mr. Slim’s confidence and support of the company.”

Mexico's richest man and the sixth-richest in the world according to Forbes's annual rankings stands to make a considerable profit after New York Times stock has risen about 40 percent in 2017 alone.

Despite the sell-off, Slim, 77, appears to still be the second-largest shareholder of the company. New York-based investment management firm BlackRock is now its largest with a stake of 8.1 percent.

The news comes days after Arthur O. Sulzberger Jr., 66, stepped down as publisher of The New York Times and passed the baton to his son, Arthur G. Sulzberger, 37.

The paper of record has been in the Sulzberger family since 1896. Sulzberger Jr. took over from his father, Arthur "Pinch" Sulzberger, 25 years ago.

The unpredictable and fast-moving Trump era has been a boon for the newspaper.

In July, the paper announced it had surpassed 3.3 million print and digital subscribers and doubled its digital base in the past two years alone, while the paper's online content averages more than 140 million unique visitors per month, according to the company.