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Texas Group Buys 40 Percent of St. Petersburg Times Voting Stock

November 4, 1988

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (AP) _ A Texas group headed by one of the Bass brothers has bought 40 percent of the voting stock of the parent company of the St. Petersburg Times, Florida’s second-largest newspaper.

The Robert M. Bass Group purchased 200 of the 500 voting shares in the Times Publishing Co., Andrew Barnes, the paper’s president and editor, said Thursday.

The four Bass brothers of Fort Worth have holdings that Forbes magazine valued at $6 billion before last year’s stock market crash.

″It basically means nothing,″ said Barnes. He said the transaction represents only 6 percent of the total 3,500 shares of stock.

″It is a privately held company in which the majority wins,″ he said, adding that as chief executive officer he controls the majority. ″We have every intention of going on without missing a beat.″

Barnes, 49, added the title of chief executive officer to his positions at the Times Publishing Co. on Monday upon the retirement of Eugene Patterson, 65, after a decade at the helm.

Patterson had been appointed by the late Nelson Poynter, the last individual owner of the newspaper and founder of a non-profit organization that trains journalists.

The sale was completed Aug. 25, according to Merritt A. Gardner, who represented the sellers, Anne Poynter Jamison Parker and Mary Alice Jamison Griffin. He would not disclose the purchase price.

The 104-year-old Times is a morning newspaper with a circulation of more than 300,000 daily and 400,000 on Sunday.

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