New York Times Reduce Stake in Liverpool Parent Fenway

July 4, 2011

The New York Times Company (NYT) has sold more than half of its stake in English Premier League club Liverpool’s parent company, Fenway Sports Group (FSG).

NYT has been looking to reduce its shareholding in FSG for two years to raise funds for its publishing business and has now announced the sale of 390 of its 700 Class B units in the company for US$117m to three undisclosed separate buyers.

FSG’s majority owner is John Henry, who bought the Red Sox in 2002.

American group Fenway, formally known as New England Sports Ventures (NESV), agreed to acquire Liverpool in October 2010 in a forced sale for £300m ($483.5m) from their much maligned compatriots George Gillett and Tom Hicks. However, following the takeover, Hicks and Gillett announced plans to take legal action.

NYT said in 2009 that it had hired Goldman Sachs to sell its stake in the sports venture. The publishing group paid $75m for just over 17 per cent of FSG in 2002.