Boston Globe Sold To Red Sox Owner For $70 Million, Drastically Reduced From $1.1 Billion Price In 1993

 @natrudy on August 03 2013 12:00 PM
John Henry
Boston Red Sox owner John Henry with wife Linda Pizzuti REUTERS/Rick Wilking

Boston Red Sox owner John Henry will pay $70 million to take the Boston Globe newspaper off the hands of the New York Times Company (NYSE:NYT).

The price is a bargain, considering that the Times paid a record $1.1 billion for the 140-year-old Boston Globe in 1993, the Associated Press reported.

The $70 million price represents less than 7 percent of the company’s former value.

The New York Times Co. said the deal is expected to close in one to two months, with the money from the sale going to “general corporate purposes.”

In February 2013, the Times Company put the Globe and related assets up for sale, including the Boston Globe website, Boston.com, and a significant stake in daily free newspaper Metro Boston.

Henry beat out more than six other bidders, the Boston Globe reports.

The purchase is Henry’s “first foray into the financially unsettled world of the news media,” according to the Globe.

Henry made his fortune in investment funds and owns several sports groups, including the English Liverpool F.C. soccer team. Forbes estimated his net worth at $1.5 billion as of March 2013.

There’s some concern about whether the sale will affect the Globe’s coverage of the Boston Red Sox; however, Globe editor Brian McGrory assured readers on Saturday there would be no bias in the paper's baseball reporting. 

“We have no plans whatsoever to change our Red Sox coverage specifically, or our sports coverage in general, nor will we be asked to,” he said.

NYT Co. CEO Mark Thompson said the sale allows his company to return its focus to the New York Times brand of journalism.

Henry said he would disclose a more detailed plan outlining his vision for the newspaper in coming days. 

Average weekly circulation for the paper has fallen from 413,000 in September 2002 to about 245,572 as of March 2013. 

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