Silicon Valley Watcher - Former FT journalist Tom Foremski reporting from the intersection of technology and media

Jeff "Gordon Gekko" Bezos - $250m For Washington Post's $604m Overfunded Pension Plan?

Posted by Tom Foremski - August 6, 2013

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Gordon Gekko acquired an older company with an over-funded pension plan.

In the movie "Wall Street" fictional financier Gordon Gekko, orchestrates a deal to acquire a company with a large overfunded pension plan, which he then pockets.

Jeff Bezos is paying $250m for The Washington Post which has a huge, overfunded pension plan.

Tom Gera at the Wall Street Journal reports: 

Washington Post Co.’s Real Star Asset: A Massive Pension Fund - Corporate Intelligence - WSJ

At a time when pension obligations are becoming giant financial drag on some of America’s best known companies – such a drag, in some cases, that the pension funds end up owning significant chunks of the business — having a hugely over-funded pension plan is a pretty sweet spot to be in…

That’s a pension plan that owes its recipients just under $1.47 billion, but has $2.07 billion in assets — in other words, it is over-funded by a cool $604 million.

The New York Times recently sold the Boston Globe but not its pension obligations of about $110m, overall, NYTimes Company pension plans are underfunded by more than $400m.

Warren Buffett bought some small newspapers but not their pension obligations. 

Did Jeff Bezos pay just $250m for a $604m overfunded pension plan and got the newspaper for free?

It is not clear who will hold the pension plan.

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Please see: Analysis: An Incredible Coup - Bezos Owns The Newspaper of The Capital Of The World's Most Powerful Nation

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