Conrad Black Suing Hollinger Inc. For $17.5 Million

By: E&P Staff

In its latest filing with Canadian securities regulators, the Chicago Sun-Times’ controlling stockholder, Toronto-based Hollinger Inc., revealed its former Chairman Conrad Black is suing the holding company to recover more than US $17.5 million he was forced to pay Sun-Times Media Group (STMG) by a Delaware court in 2004.

Black was also chairman of STMG when it was known as Hollinger International.

Black served a “notice of action and statement of claim” against Inc. on Dec. 13, the company said, seeking C$20.4 million ($US 17.5 million) in damages plus C$165,000 in associated costs plus interest, Inc. said in a status report filed late Friday.

Hollinger Inc. said Black is seeking to recover money he paid July 16, 2004 to satisfy a Delaware Chancery Court judgment on non-competition payment that were diverted from STMG to Inc., and were allegedly improperly pocketed by Black and others Hollinger executives. It said it “disputes Black’s claim for damages and believes that, in any event, it has a valid basis for offsetting any successful claim by Black against various amounts it has claimed from Black.”

Numerous civil suits have been generated in the collapse of Black’s newspaper empire, most revolving around allegations the former mogul and other key Hollinger International and Inc. executives plundered the companies for hundreds of millions. Black and two other former executives face U.S. federal criminal charges of fraud and racketeering.

The principal asset of Hollinger Inc., one of several companies Black used to control his global newspaper holdings, is a 19.7% equity stake and 70.1% voting stake in STMG, which publishes the Sun-Times and about 100 other dailies and weeklies in the Chicago market.

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