Looks like Slim’s money may only help so much. The Times Company, which announced a while back that they were looking into mortgaging their brand new building is now in “advance negotiations” to sell a “substantial portion” of it to W. P. Carey & Company, an investment and management firm, which apparently specializes in these sorts of sale-leaseback transactions.
Under the deal, the Times Company would sell the 19 floors it currently uses in the building but not the 6 floors it leases to other tenants. The Times Company would continue to occupy and manage its floors and would have the right to buy back the space at a predetermined price when a 10-year lease expires.
So! How long then till the Times Co. gets tired of twisting itself in knots to stave off bankruptcy and decides to start charging for content? And would people be willing to pay if it meant the difference between having the paper or not? We suspect the answer may be ‘yes’ sooner than later.