Ontario Regulators Lift Restrictions on Hollinger Insider Trading

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By: E&P Staff

Current and former Hollinger Inc. executives can again trade shares of the Toronto-based holding company Conrad Black once used to run his global newspaper empire, the Ontario Securities Commission (OSC) ruled late Tuesday.

Black and his former lieutenant David Radler, and former Hollinger executives Peter Atkinson and John “Jack” Boultbee have agreed not to sell or acquire shares, according to previous OSC filings. Radler has pleaded guilty to a single count of wire fraud in connection with U.S. allegations that key Hollinger executives conspired to improperly pocket $60 million in phony non-compete fees from the sale of newspapers in the U.S. and Canada. The other three executives have all pleaded not guilty and are on trial in federal court in Chicago.

Ontario regulators imposed the cease-trade order on Hollinger management and directors in May 2004 as the company delayed filing financial reports because of the criminal investigations and civil litigation against its Chicago-based subsidiary, the newspaper publishing company Hollinger International. Now known as Sun-Times Media Group (STMG), the subsidiary publishes the Chicago Sun-Times and dozens of other Chicago-area papers.

About 60 current and former insiders were affected by the order.

Hollinger Inc. became current on its regulatory filings in March.

Hollinger Inc.’s principal asset is a 19.7% equity stake and 70% voting interest in STMG.

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