Hollinger Board ‘Furious’ With Proposed Barclay Deal

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By: E&P Staff

Hollinger International shareholders are “furious” about the blockbuster deal Conrad Black cut over the weekend to sell his controlling interests in newspaper publisher Hollinger Inc. to Britain’s reclusive Barclay twins.

According to a report in The Times of London, U.S. regulators as well as the Hollinger International board are certain to try to derail the $467 million deal. On Sunday, the embattled Black struck the private deal with David and Frederick Barclay, identical twins who are, in tandem, the 34th richest men in Britain.

The report in The Times also said the Barclays did not conduct enough due diligence investigations into lawsuits and liabilities that face Hollinger Inc.

The Barclays deal includes Black’s 78 percent stake in Canada’s Hollinger Inc. Hollinger Inc. has a 30 percent equity stake in Hollinger International, as well as 72.8 percent of voting rights. But Black may be prevented from selling his ownership stake due to agreements between Black and Hollinger International.

Hollinger International said its board is evaluating the Hollinger Inc. offer and its implications for Hollinger International, CBS Marketwatch reported. On Monday, Hollinger International said it will not pay its regularly scheduled cash dividend on Feb. 6 to holders of series III preferred shares. The company cited its inability to meet legally required “liquidity requirements.”

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