New York Times Jumps After Investor ValueAct Reveals Stake

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ValueAct Capital, an activist hedge fund that has previously taken stakes in companies like Microsoft and Oracle, revealed on Monday that it had acquired a 6.7% stake in The New York Times Company. According to ValueAct’s letter to The New York Times Company’s board of directors, it intends to engage the company in constructive discussions regarding value enhancing opportunities, including acquisitions and cost savings. Shares of the media giant were up over 3% in pre-market trading on Tuesday following the news.

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According to a filing with the SEC on Thursday, activist investor ValueAct has amassed a 6.7% position in the New York Times, driving up the value of the media company’s stock by about 10% on the day.

The New York Times issued a statement saying, “We are aware that ValueAct has made an investment in the Company. Members of our management team have spoken with ValueAct to offer our opinions and to hear theirs, as we do with other shareholders.

According to Bloomberg, who broke the news of the holding, ValueAct bought more than 11 million shares and apparently wants the news organisation to expand into subscriber-only bundles.

According to its earnings announcement published this week, The New York Times increased its digital-only subscriber base by about 180,000 and 230,000 during the second quarter of 2022, representing customers who have multiple subscriptions to the company’s services. The additions increase the organization’s subscriber base to 9.17 million, and its total print and digital subscriptions now stand at 10.56 million, including 1 million subscribers to The Athletic, which the firm just recently bought.

The second quarter of this year saw an increase in digital subscription income to $238.7 million from 2021. Digital access to the company’s news, popular cookery service, and games are all included with these memberships.

The New York Times stock reached its highest price since mid-May on Thursday afternoon, trading at about $35 per share. The stock has lost over 25% of its value so far this year, and the market value of the business is at around $5.85 billion.

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