Mexican billionaire Carlos Slim becomes largest shareholder in The New York Times Co.

MarketsAssociated Press

The New York Times Co. says Mexican billionaire Carlos Slim is now the largest holder of its publicly traded shares.

The telecom magnate is ranked by Forbes as the world's second-richest person with an estimated net worth of $72 billion. He lent the newspaper company $250 million at the height of the recession.

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The company said Wednesday that Slim and entities he controls recently spent nearly $101.1 million to exercise warrants he received for that investment, and acquired 15.9 million shares. That brings his stake to about 27.8 million Class A shares, or 16.8 percent.

The ownership doesn't change control of the company. The Sulzberger family controls The New York Times Co. through a trust that owns 90 percent of its Class B stock, which isn't publicly traded, and 3.8 percent of Class A shares. Holders of Class B stock can elect 70 percent of the company's board.