While American politicians haggle over how to resolve the country’s deficit, America’s most prestigious newspaper has agreed to pay off a big loan even earlier than expected.
The New York Times announced Wednesday that it will pay back the $250 million loan it received from Carlos Slim Helu, the richest man in the world, on August 15. Considering interest, the amount owed to Slim, a Mexican telecommunications magnate, will be about $279 million.
The Times took the loan two years ago in what was seen as a troubling signal for the company’s financial future. However, after already announcing it would repay the loan in 2012, the Times moved up that forecast.
Janet L. Robinson, President and CEO of the Times Co., issued a statement that credited recent steps taken by the Times to improve its financial situation.
Over the past two years we have significantly strengthened the Times Co.'s cash position and our considerable and focused efforts have allowed us to prepay the notes far ahead of schedule," Robinson said.
One move that may have helped the company pay back the loan is its recent sale of more than half its Class B shares in the Fenway Sports Group.
Though Slim is no longer owed money by the Times, his family still holds a 7 percent stake in the company.