New York businessman leading group purchasing Florida Panthers
24 as part of a plan to reestablish a quarterly dividend, it said yesterday in a statement. The company had cash and short-term investments of $747 million at the end of last quarter, with debt of $694 million. The Ochs-Sulzberger family, which controls Times Co. through its Class B shares, has pressured the company to resume dividends that used to supply it with as much as $20 million annually. If the dividend remains at 4 cents a share, the familys 13 percent stake in the company would give it $774,163 each quarter, or $3.1 million annually from the dividends. Times Co. stopped paying its dividend five years ago as it coped with a decline in revenue from print advertising as readers turned to the Internet. The company has boosted circulation sales by asking online readers to pay for access to its news articles. The strength of our balance sheet justified the restoration of a dividend, Chief Executive Officer Mark Thompson said in the statement. Given the expectation of continued volatility in advertising revenue and the fact that our growth strategy is at an early stage of development, we will maintain a prudent view of both the balance sheet and free cash flow . The dividend will be paid to shareholders of record as of Oct. 9, the company said. Times Co.
New York Photos of the Week, September 14th – September 20th
(Keith Bedford for The Wall Street Journal) A guest communicates through gestures while participating in a four-course silent dinner at Eat in Greenpoint, Brooklyn on Sunday. It was a pilot run for what the restaurant hopes to make a monthly event. (Keith Bedford for The Wall Street Journal) Seferino Cotzojay, assistant winemaker at Bedell Cellars, loads harvested grapes into a crusher on Wednesday. Mr. Cotzojay has been working at Bedell since 2005, when he answered an ad for a worker that had been posted in the local paper. (Gordon M. Grant for The Wall Street Journal) Michal Litwiniec, left, Marek Otwinowski, Pawel Czepukowski and Igor Gawlikowski, members of the Polish group Karbido, rehearse at their musical table, which has a bass attachment and hidden strings. The group performs in the U.S. for the first time this week. (Keith Bedford for The Wall Street Journal) Participants in Harlems African American Day Parade are pictured Sunday. Former city Comptroller Bill Thompson appeared at a breakfast for the eventon Monday announced he would be bowing out of the race for mayor. (PJ Smith for The Wall Street Journal) Former World Wrestling Foundation wrestler Bruno Sammartino is pictured with memorabilia at the Italian American Museum in New York on Sunday. Columnist Ralph Gardner met the wresting legend during Little Italys San Gennaro festival.
Last season, Forbes had placed the franchises value at $170 million. The Panthers are expected to remain in South Florida; the teams lease with the Broward County-owned BB&T Center runs through 2028. Sunrise Sports & Entertainment, which operates the arena, is the profitable arm of the Florida Panthers family of companies and is said to be part of the transaction. The team had no comment after the New York Post first reported a group of unidentified New York-based investors were buying the team. The Panthers have been losing more than $20 million per season in recent years, the source said. A source close to the team confirmed the sale was in the works and said general manager Dale Tallon has been telling players interested in coming to the Panthers such as former All-Star goalie Tim Thomas that a new owner would be in place soon. An announcement could be coming in the next few weeks. Captain Ed Jovanovski, who said he heard reports of a new owner on a weekly basis while with the Phoenix Coyotes, said word of a new owner shouldnt affect the team at all. For the most part, you have a bunch of guys who just want to play hockey, Jovanovski said. Whatever happens on the ownership side will be taken care of by the executives in place. I think for us, we just wait and see. Were trying to be in the right frame of mind for the start of the season.