What do a Chinese recycling company and a globally-followed U.S. newspaper have in common? They’re both going to be owned by the same individual, if self-made multi-millionaire Chen Guangbiao has anything to say about … and if the U.S. Committee on Foreign Investment doesn’t mind.
In an announcement quietly snuck in on the last day of 2013, China recycling mogul Chen Guangbiao said he was interested in acquiring The New York Times (NYT). No, the iconic newspaper hasn’t put itself up for sale, and even if it was on the market, Guangbiao — worth an estimated $750 million — would have a tough time scooping up even a majority of the $2.4 billion newspaper. That doesn’t mean he’s not going to take some sort of shot at an American media entity, though — Guangbiao acknowledged he’d be willing to settle for the Wall Street Journal or CNN.
It’s an outrageous idea, of course. None of those companies are interested in being acquired, and even if they were, the regulations as well as the public outcry would be too great. It’s not quite as crazy as it seems, however, considering some of the other uproarious acquisitions of U.S. companies that Chinese suitors have attempted and made in recent history.