New York Times surges on takeover speculation
'New York Times' shares rose as much as 11pc and bullish options trading was the highest in a month on speculation that the newspaper publisher may be acquired.
The stock added 6.2pc to $11.62 in New York by lunchtime. More than 7,400 calls to buy the stock changed hands, eight times the four-week average and 35 times the number of puts to sell.
The most-active contracts were March $12.50 calls, which jumped sixfold to 60 cents and changed hands more than 2,000 times.
"It looks like takeover speculation," said Joshua Belanger, founder of OptionSizzle.com, a Stamford, Connecticut-based provider of options market data and analytics. "They're going after the front-month March contracts and there's a spike in the price too."
Diane McNulty, a spokeswoman for the New York-based publisher of the namesake newspaper, said in an e-mail message that the company doesn't comment on rumours.
Billionaire Carlos Slim, who controls Mexico's biggest phone companies, owns about 7pc of New York Times's Class A shares. He has warrants to buy enough stock to control 16pc of the shares.
A spokeswoman for Mr Slim said his companies didn't comment on rumours. Another representative told broadcaster CNBC he was not buying the rest of New York Times.
Members of the Ochs-Sulzberger family would have to agree to any takeover. The family controls 90pc of the company's Class B stock, which entitles them to elect 70pc of the board of directors and to vote on all other matters.
Slim said in November that he invested in New York Times because he believes the stock "will pay".