Hedge Funds Gain Seats On N.Y. Times Board
March 17, 2008 at 12:04 PM (PT)
The NEW YORK TIMES CO. has agreed to give two seats on its board to two hedge funds that have threatened a proxy fight in a dispute over the company's structure and reticence to sell assets to move more aggressively into Internet operations.
The deal adds seats for HARBINGER CAPITAL PARTNERS and FIREBRAND PARTNERS, which together own 19% of TIMES common stock. FIREBRAND's SCOTT GALLOWAY and KOHLBERG AND CO.'s JAMES KOHLBERG, who were among a slate of four candidates nominated for the four Class A stock board seats, will be nominated by the company for two seats on an expanded Class A board, which goes from 4 to 5 seats. Former FCC Chairman BILL KENNARD, also among the four nominees, will now stand for election for a Class B board seat, with the Class B seats increasing from 9 to 10.
HARBINGER and FIREBRAND have been among those critical of the company's two-tier stock arrangement that allows the SULZBERGER family to control a majority of the board, but the hedge funds say that they will not challenge the stock structure.
The times owns Classical WQXR/NEW YORK.