The New York Times Is a Lousy Investor

The Wall Street Journal is keen to point out the Times Co.’s lousy track-record as an investor. It appears that the Times was on the brink of combining, the content farm it bought for $410 million nearly six years ago, with Demand media.

Under the terms discussed at the time, Times Co. would own as much as 49% of a company that would combine Demand Media’s assets including and, with, according to the person familiar with the matter. […] Ultimately, Times Co. backed out after Robinson and other senior executives decided they did not want to cede control of to Demand.

Based on Demand’s recent share price in its first day of stock trading, the digital-publishing company has a market value of roughly $1.9 billion. The Times Co.’s stock-market value is $1.55 billion. Of course, it’s hard to know how Demand would have fared in combination with Times Co.

If the Times Co. were participating the IPO today, they’re deal would have been a solid two-bagger at least. No matter, the gain would have come too late to hold on to the company’s shiny new headquarters of stave off the steep price paid to Carlos Slim.

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