Chinese recycling tycoon Chen Guangbiao said on Tuesday he is set to begin negotiations to buy the New York Times.
“If I acquire the Times, the paper will only report the truth and must verify all information,” Chen told Reuters.
Times chairman Arthur Sulzberger, Jr. has said the paper is not for sale, and industry insiders doubt the Ochs-Sulzberger family would sell Chen the paper. But Chen told Reuters he believes the company is worth $1 billion and that money can change minds.
“There is nothing that can’t be bought for the right price,” Chen told Reuters.
Chen says he has a January 5 meeting with a “leading shareholder” in New York. Chen, whom Reuters describes as “eccentric” and a publicity maven, is worth an estimated $740 million but says he has enlisted an unnamed Hong Kong tycoon to chip in $600 million to buy the New York Times.
In 2012, Chen made waves when he took out a New York Times advertisement declaring that a chain of islands at the center of a “dispute with Japan had belonged to China since antiquity,” reports Reuters.