Carlos Slim Slams Newsweek, Times’ Stake Speculation

Mexican billionaire bats down fat rumors

Last Updated: May 7, 2010 @ 10:32 AM

Carlos Slim, the cigar-smoking Mexican telecom billionaire, spent Friday morning batting down a pair of rumors:

1. That he is interested in buying Newsweek.
2. That he is planning to double his stake in the New York Times.

Arturo Elias, his spokesman and son-in-law, said neither rumor is true. (It’s worth noting the last time there was a rumor like this involving Slim, it moved markets.)

The speculation stemmed from a report in the New York Post:

According to people familiar with the matter, Slim is sinking more money into The New York Times Co., doubling his current 7 percent stake, while also visiting the offices of Newsweek, the Washington Post-owned newsweekly that was put up for sale earlier this week.

[…]

Slim’s apparent interest in Newsweek would represent a reversal of fortune for a magazine that some watchers predicted would be difficult to sell.

As the world’s richest man, it would indeed. See the odds of a Newsweek sale here, and the magazine’s ugly first quarter numbers here.

More to read:

Who Might Buy Newsweek — and the Odds They Will
Slim Rumor Takes New York Times Stock on Fat Ride