The New York Times Company (NYT.N) announced today that it has retained Goldman, Sachs & Co. as its financial advisor to explore the possible sale of the Company`s 17.75 percent ownership interest in New England Sports Ventures, LLC (NESV). NESV owns the Boston Red Sox, Fenway Park and adjacent real estate, as well as approximately 80 percent of New England Sports Network (NESN), and 50 percent of Roush Fenway Racing, a leading NASCAR team. The Times Company acquired its interest in NESV in February 2002. Bankers, as well as sports business analysts predict that the minority share in NESV could be worth $200 million.
The Times Co. is the largest stakeholder in NESV behind John Henry.
The news comes on the day when the NY Times Co. reported that their fourth-quarter 2008 earnings were down due to an 18 percent drop in ad revenues and 10.8 percent decline┬á in total revenues from the year prior.
"The disruptions of the global economy are affecting all businesses and industries, especially companies, such as ours, that generate a significant portion of their revenues from advertising," said Janet L. Robinson, president and CEO of the New York Times Company. "In this time of unprecedented change, we are responding strategically and creatively to manage our businesses and prepare for our future, while preserving the flexibility to navigate this difficult period. You have seen that in our decisions to restructure our cost base, to preserve capital by reducing our dividend, and to improve our financial position by completing the transaction announced last week. And you see that daily in how we are responding to the present realities of our markets.ÔÇŁ
Source: The New York Times Co.
(Tip of the Hat to Ken Fang of Fang's Bites)
Maury Brown is the Founder and President of the Business of Sports Network, which includes The Biz of Baseball, The Biz of Football, The Biz of Basketball and The Biz of Hockey. He is contributor to Baseball Prospectus, and is available as a freelance writer. Brown's full bio is here. He looks forward to your comments via email and can be contacted through the Business of Sports Network.
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