Harbinger Capital is a private investment firm that owns about 19% of the New York Times. They bought the stake about one year ago when the stock price was above $19 and now the company is trading at below $7. Clearly they want to unload their equity in the company for a reason because they have been reportedly shopping around for a buyer. Specifically Harbinger looked in the direction of Google and Hollywood exec David Geffen.
Scott Galloway, a professor at NYU’s business school and one out of two board members from Harbinger that sits on the board at the Times made a pitch to Google co-founder Larry Page. Page took a serious look at the Times before deciding to pass. Geffen on the other hand made an offer, but was reportedly turned down. Geffen is the founder of Asylum Records and Geffen Records as well as the co-founder of Dreamworks SKG. Geffen is worth about $6.5 billion.
Recently the New York Times started looking for other revenue streams such as charging for some content on their web site and on the Kindle. If a deal isn’t made with Geffen, it is likely that the Times might turn to telecommunications conglomerate Carlos Slim.