On September 24, 2012, the first day of the fiscal fourth quarter, the Company completed the sale of the About Group for $300 million in cash, plus a net working capital adjustment of approximately $16 million, subject to customary post-closing review and finalization. The Company expects the net after-tax proceeds from the sale will be approximately $290 million and expects to record an after-tax gain of approximately $68 million in the fourth quarter of 2012.
In early October 2012, Indeed.com, a search engine for jobs, in which the Company had an ownership interest, was sold. The pre-tax proceeds from the sale of the Company’s interest were approximately $167 million. The Company expects the after-tax proceeds and the after-tax gain from the sale, which will be recorded in the fourth quarter, to be approximately $100 million.
In addition, the Company repaid in full the $75 million 4.610 percent senior notes that matured on September 26, 2012.
Capital expenditures totaled approximately $5 million in the third quarter of 2012, and approximately $20 million in the first nine months of 2012.
As part of the Company’s strategy to reduce its pension obligations and the resulting volatility of the Company’s overall financial condition, in September the Company offered certain former employees who participate in The New York Times Companies Pension Plan the option to receive a one-time lump sum payment equal to the present value of the participant’s pension benefit (payable in cash or rolled over into a qualified retirement plan or IRA) or to commence an immediate monthly annuity. The election period for this voluntary offer will end during the fourth quarter of 2012.
While it is too early to estimate the participation rate, assuming an acceptance rate of 50 percent of the pension obligations associated with the offer, the Company would make settlement distributions of approximately $100 million and would record a non-cash settlement charge of approximately $45 million in the fourth quarter of 2012. The settlement distributions, the majority of which will be made by the end of 2012, will be made with existing assets of the pension plan and not with Company cash. The actual amount of the settlement distributions and the charge will largely depend upon the number of participants electing the offer and the associated pension benefit of those electing participants, as well as interest rates and asset performance. This offer is expected to have a minimal impact on the Company’s underfunded pension plan balance and the timing and amount of its funding obligations.