That being said, Instagram sold for an outrageous amount. But this article is rather naive in how stock markets work or how companies are valued.
What you said is true. But the argument of "worth more" etc. is arbitrary and just looks good in print. Same as clearing x million users etc.
So even if you had to pay 1.4 billion (a 40% premium) to buy all the shares of the NYT it still shows an interesting comparison of value.
But my point was that you'd be merely matching an offer that they'd already implicitly turned down because they expect a better offer later - sell their share of the company at the current market cap.
That can include capital preservation, e.g. maybe you'd rather have exactly 100% of your portfolio value in real terms in 20 years than 100% now, since you believe the market will go down.