Comments about ‘Did liberal politics play a role in sale of the Boston Globe?’

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Published: Tuesday, Aug. 6 2013 6:25 a.m. MDT

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What in Tucket?
Provo, UT

Who said the s stockholders who want to sue are conservatives? I would guess they were liberals too. Still they might be disappointed as would most of you if they received less than fair. The NY Times bought the globe 4 years ago for $1.1 billion. Quite a comedown. No wonder they are mad. Until conservatives can control some of the media they will not get their opinions out.

Deep Space 9, Ut

I am still trying to figure out what the big deal is.

Who cares if politics were the guiding motive behind the sale, and who now owns the paper.

The bigger question that people should be more concerned with, since it potentially can harm people, is what is happening to the members of the Board that approved the sale?

If they sold the paper for less than what it was really worth, then somebody should reconsider before putting those that were infavor of the sale in charge of another company.

CHS 85
Sandy, UT

@L White

"I guess that's to be expected from a newspaper that believes in "encouraging a civil dialogue". Maybe that notice is reserved for us Conservatives. Maybe that notice never appears above the comment box of those who are not Conservatives."

Funniest comment I've read in a long time.

Salt Lake City, Utah

@ What in Tucket: Actually, NYTimes bought the Globe in 1993 - 20 years ago - for 1.1 billion. Since then, the internet has severely affected circulation and 4 years ago NYTimes tried to sell it. They were able to refigure things and decided to keep it.

L White
Springville, UT

Well, I've been caught. I used the $180 million figure that others have bandied about as the price that would have been offered for the Boston Globe. I am so sorry. I was terribly wrong. The offer made by Aaron Kushner was $300 million. He made that offer in 2011. He also included the assumption of the pension liabilities that have been estimated to be $110 million. The $70 million price did not include those pension liabilities. So, the spread (don't you just love it when I use words like "spread"?) is at least $340 million. Kushner offered a total of $410 million. The Globe was sold for $70 and the Times still has to pay for the pensions.

Sometimes it feels so good to be told how wrong I was and how I had misused figures especially when the real news is that the "damage" was nearly two times greater than I reported.

Now, maybe we should all study up on "fiduciary responsibility".

lost in DC
West Jordan, UT

First, I made no reference to spring street or his/her comments. Perhaps you should actually read my comment and those to whom I addressed them.

You accuse me of making derogatory comments, then you infer that I am one of those who know the least. You do what you accuse me of.

You accuse me of not knowing about fiduciary responsibility but offer no indication of how I misunderstood fiduciary responsibility. Yet you defend a board, who has a fiduciary responsibility to the shareholders they represent, of breaching that duty by accepting less than could have been received just to protect an ideology. May I suggest YOU review what is required of fiduciaries? The board’s fiduciary responsibility is to the SHAREHOLDERS, not to the editorial board’s ideology.

Whether they sell the entire company or just a part, their fiduciary duty is NOT reduced one iota. Regardless of what you or Tolstoy say, they have a duty to maximize the return.

Thanks for the clarification



You really just don't read comments do you? Tolstoy never said you read speing streets comments they said that you need to reread them to gain a better understanding of the subject. The way people behave on this thread makes me feel like I stepped into a third grade recess.


Sorry I meant. Commented on not read

Salt Lake City, Utah

@ lost in DC (and so many other posters): When Brian JM Quinn, an assistant professor of law at Boston College Law School who writes a blog on M&A law was asked about the sale price and the consideration of other factors, he responded, "There is no legal duty to seek out the highest price for the asset. The board can decide to sell the asset to any one for almost any conceivable reason." He continued, "In hindsight, it may turn out to be wrong, but it's enough of a reason for the court to justify its decision to sell to the lower of two bids."

I am not making stuff up - I am telling you what the law says. You may disagree with it, but that does not make it any less factual. Do a little research.

@ L White: The Globe projected an $85 million loss in 2011 - I know Breitbart claims there was $300 million offer that year, but other sources (The Globe itself for one) put the offers at $35 million. But, since it wasn't sold that year, none of that matters.

It was sold this year and the highest reported difference is $10 million.

tranquility base, 00

In a free market the seller can sell to whomever they want. If not then it's socialism, communism and tyranny!

lost in DC
West Jordan, UT

Used up your 4 comments as Tolstoy, so you’re posting as Maudine now?

From your 3:29 post as Tolstoy yesterday,
“may I be so bold as to refer your superior intellect to spring streets comments on the subject as a start”

You mean to say you (as Tolstoy) never meant I was referring to spring street? Really??

From your comment that you are not making this stuff up, it seems to say even you recognize how absurd the law professor’s comment is. I still believe the shareholders would have a valid claim against the board if it turns out the asset was sold for less than it was worth, especially in light of the prudent investor rule which weighs heavily in fiduciary law.

If what they are selling is theirs, they can, but if it belongs to someone else towards whom they owe a fiduciary responsibility, they cannot.

Salt Lake City, Utah

@ lost in DC: No - my comment that I am not making this stuff up is not an indication that I think the law professor's comment is ridiculous.

My comment that I am not making this stuff up is an indication that many posters on this board are unfamiliar with the law and are refusing to recognize a very important distinction when it comes to fiduciary duties.

The prudent investor rule does not apply because they were not making an investment - they were divesting an asset.

As the law professor stated, there are many things that can be considered when divesting assets - price is only one of them.

As long as the board acted in good faith and can justify their decision, they acted with appropriate fiduciary duty - even if they did not take the highest offer - even if, at some point in the future, it proves to have been a bad idea - as long as they acted in good faith, they acted appropriately.

There is no fiduciary duty, when divesting of assets, for money to be the only consideration and the board does not have to accept the highest offer. That is the law.

lost in DC
West Jordan, UT

sorry, the prudent investor rule DOES apply. investing includes what you already hold, not just what you are purchasing.

Do you mean to say if a fiduciary held, in trust, a 17 karat top grade diamond and he sold it for 47 cents that hewould be in compliance with the prudent investor rule? doesn't work that way.

your comment about acting is good faith is valid. But obtaining less for the shareholders just to protect an ideology is NOT acting in good faith.

of course, we can argue all we want, but we will have to wait and see IF the cheated shareholders take it to court and what the courts actually decide.

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