The Globe’s circulation has almost halved in the last decade, from 438,621 in 2002 to 230,351 in September 2012, and The New York Times Company has been forced to book several write-downs on the New England Media Group.
The sale to Mr Henry, who also owns the Boston Red Sox baseball team, will allow The New York Times Company to concentrate on its flagship title, the group said.
“We are very proud of the association we have had with The Boston…and we’re delighted to have found a buyer in John Henry, who has strong local roots and a deep appreciation of the importance of these publications to the Greater Boston community,” said Mark Thompson, the former BBC director-general who became president and chief executive of The New York Times Company last year.
“As a result of this agreement, we will be able to sharpen our company focus on and investments in The New York Times brand and its journalism.”
The New York Times Company has received approaches for The Globe before. In 2009 it turned down an offer of $ 35m after warning the Boston newspaper was heading towards losses of $ 85m.
Mr Henry is worth around $ 1.5bn according to Forbes. His foray into print media follows similar moves by US billionaire investor Warren Buffett, who has bought more than 60 newspapers over the past few years, including his local paper the Omaha World Herald.