By: Mark Fitzgerald
Hollinger Inc. said Friday it reached an agreement to sell landmark downtown Toronto headquarters — made famous in the newspaper industry in 2005 when a security camera caught deposed newspaper mogul Conrad Black removing boxes from his office against court orders.
Hollinger said it is selling the building at 10 Toronto St. to Morgan Meighen & Associates, described as one of Canada’s oldest independent investment managers, for $14 million. The sale is expected to close in May 2007.
Hollinger, now in receivership, is the holding company Black used to control a once-global newspaper empire. Hollinger holds a 17.4% equity stake and 66.8% voting stake in Sun-Times Media Group, the publisher of the Chicago Sun-Times and dozens of other Chicago-area papers. The Chicago company was formerly known as Hollinger International.
Black had been deposed as Hollinger Inc.’s CEO and chairman — and ordered to vacate his office at 10 Toronto St. — when a security camera in the building showed him removing boxes from the building, in violation a court order not to remove any property while the company investigated allegations he and other key executives misappropriated corporate monies.
The widely publicized tape shows Black at one point poking his finger at the lenses of the security camera. Black later returned the boxes, and has contended they contained only personal belongings.
Black and three other former Hollinger International executives are scheduled to go on trial in Chicago in the spring on U.S. federal criminal charges of racketeering, money-laundering, wire fraud and tax evasion.