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January 20, 2009 2:06 PM

Cleary Gottlieb, Morgan Lewis on $250 Million New York Times Investment

Posted by Brian Baxter

Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton and Morgan, Lewis & Bockius are advising on an agreement under which Mexican billionaire Carlos Slim Helú will invest $250 million into The New York Times Company so the newspaper company can meet its business obligations.

Slim, the world's second-richest person according to Forbes, already owns 6.9 percent of the Times Company, which, in addition to The New York Times, publishes newspapers The International Herald Tribune and The Boston Globe.

Cleary capital markets and M&A partners Jorge Juantorena and Duane McLaughlin in New York advised Grupo Financiero Inbursa and Inmobiliaria Carso on the deal. Mexico City-based Grupo Inbursa is Slim's financial services arm, operating one of Mexico's few remaining domestically owned banks, Banco Inbursa.

Inmobiliaria Carso is the Slim family's private investment vehicle. Slim is a long-time Cleary client, having first retained the firm in 1990 when the Mexican government privatized Teléfonos de México, also known as Telmex, which today remains Mexico's largest fixed-line provider of telecom services.

Cleary has handled several large deals for Slim since then, such as the $3.7 billion acquisition in April 2006 of certain Caribbean assets of Verizon Communications for Slim's América Móvil, Latin America's largest cell phone company.

According to the terms of the agreement announced by the Times Company on Monday, both Grupo Inbursa and Inmobiliaria Carso will invest $125 million in the struggling newspaper giant. Grupo Inbursa general counsel Raul Zepeda also advised on the transaction.

The Times Company was represented by Morgan Lewis business finance and M&A partner Howard Kenny. Times Company general counsel Kenneth Richieri and senior counsel Diane Brayton provided in-house advice.

The $250 million in senior unsecured notes purchased by Slim have warrants that allow the Mexican billionaire to increase his stake in the Times Company to nearly 17 percent should he decide to exercise them. The warrants expire in January 2015.

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