BOSTON – Three bidders who fell short in their attempts to purchase The Boston Globe say they offered more than Boston Red Sox owner John Henry’s winning $70 million bid and criticized the decision of the seller, The New York Times Co., to make a deal with him.
Springfield television station owner John Gormally, West Coast investment executive Robert Loring and U-T San Diego chief executive John Lynch all said their groups’ bids bested Henry’s.
Henry agreed to pay $70 million to buy the Globe, the Boston Metro and the Telegram & Gazette in Worcester, about 50 miles from Boston. The bid, announced Saturday, was a fraction of the $1.1 billion the Times Co. paid 20 years ago.
Lynch said his group offered “significantly more” than Henry and wondered how the Times Co.’s shareholders would react after learning the company accepted a lower offer.
“I’m just stunned,” Lynch told the Boston Herald. “I thought this was a public company that had a fiduciary duty to get the most by its stockholders.”
Lynch and Gormally also criticized the bidding process, with Gormally saying he was kept in the dark for a week after the July 26 bid deadline, until learning in an early morning email Saturday that Henry was chosen.
Gormally said he offered $80 million. But, he added, “putting aside price,” Henry was the best choice to own the paper, given his smarts, local connections and ability to assemble a team to make the paper work.
Loring, founder of Revolution Capital, a West Coast investment company that owns the Tampa Tribune in Florida, told the Globe that his bid included $80 million in cash.
“We felt we had a strong offer for the company and we had a strong offer for management,” he said. “We felt we were the best buyer for the business.”
In a statement, Times Co. spokeswoman Abbe Serphos said Henry’s bid was selected after a “full and active sales process” but did not offer any specifics.
“We took many factors into consideration and at the end of the process concluded, along with our board of directors, that this agreement to sell the New England Media Group to Mr. Henry was in the best interest of our shareholders as well as of The Boston Globe, the Worcester Telegram & Gazette and the Boston community,” she said.
One of the chief questions raised by Henry’s purchase of the newspaper was how his ownership will affect the Globe’s coverage of the Red Sox, one of the city’s most popular institutions.
Addressing those concerns, Globe editor Brian McGrory said the paper had no plans to change its coverage, nor will it be asked to.
“The Globe’s sports reporting and commentary is the gold standard in the industry,” McGrory told the newspaper over the weekend.