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The New York Times Company is looking around for new acquisition targets. Any businesses the company buys will be its first acquisitions in more than three years.
In a Bloomberg interview, the company’s CEO, Janet Robinson, said The New York Times Co. is particularly looking toward technology companies as it prepares for these acquisition deals.
As the parent company for a large group of print newspapers — and as a company still feeling its way to new digital revenues — it behooves the Times Co. to use acquisitions as one way to strengthen its online offerings, gain a stronger foothold in mobile and tablet form factors and improve its overall suite of digital tools.
While Robinson didn’t name specific companies The New York Times Co. might be considering, she did say, “We are in a position to invest organically or inorganically.”
That is, while Robinson expects that the Times Company is financially prepared to grow its own revenues and customer base, it is also looking externally toward mergers and acquisitions and has the capital and debt ratio to do so.
The company’s experiments with new digital revenue sources, particularly the hotly contested New York Times online paywall, have apparently paid off. “It’s working from a revenue perspective,” said Robinson.
When the Gray Lady’s paywall first launched in earnest earlier this year, VentureBeat’s Devindra Hardawar called it “both too expensive and too confusing to take off,” noting that initial reactions around the web about the paywall were overwhelmingly negative.
However, Robinson said the system is now working so well that the company is planning to apply the same model to other papers it owns, such as the Boston Globe, which introduced pay-to-play pricing in October this year.
In addition to the New York Times, the International Herald Tribune and the Boston Globe, the company owns 15 daily newspapers in a range of markets and more than 50 websites, including such properties as Boston.com and About.com, which it bought in 2005 for $410 million.
The New York Times Company has not made an acquisition since 2008, when it bought a newspaper in Florida.