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NYT Shareholders Group Boosts Stake to 19%

A dissident shareholders group of the New York Times raised its stake to 19.03 percent, according to a U.S. regulatory filing, nearing the equity value its controlling family holds.

The group comprised of hedge fund Harbinger Capital Partners and investment firm Firebrand Partners has said it plans to solicit proxies to nominate its own slate of four directors.

Four of the 13 Times board members are elected by public shareholders.

The group previously held 15.61 percent of the company's Class A shares. The Ochs-Sulzberger family owns close to 90 percent of the company's Class B shares, which give it overriding voting control of the company.

Disappointed by New York Times shares, which have lost a third of their value since a high point last June, the group urged the company in January to focus on digital investments and shed non-core assets such as the Boston Globe.

Last week, the Times recommended shareholders vote for its own slate of 13 directors listed in a preliminary proxy, and a spokeswoman said the company was reviewing the candidates put forth by the dissident group. The dissident group's candidates include Firebrand founder Scott Galloway and Mayfield Fund Managing Director Allen Morgan.

New York Times shares closed up 56 cents, or nearly 3 percent, at $19.59 on the New York Stock Exchange.