Some Hollinger Directors, Not Including Black, to Settle Lawsuit

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(AP) Hollinger International Inc., publisher of the Chicago Sun-Times and other papers, said Tuesday that a group of its current and former board members agreed to settle a shareholder lawsuit by paying the company $50 million.

Cardinal Value Equity Partners LP filed the suit on behalf of Hollinger, charging that a number of its current and former directors were lax in their approval of transactions involving the sale of newspaper operations for as little as $1. The settlement still must be approved by Canadian and U.S. courts.

Hollinger pushed out a number of senior executives, including its chief executive Conrad Black, after an internal investigation accused them of looting the company’s of hundreds of millions of dollars. The company has its own suit pending against Black.

Black was charged in the shareholder suit, but was one of a small group to forgo the settlement.

All the directors who agreed to the settlement have denied any wrongdoing or liability and the agreement contains no admission of guilt, the company said. The funds will be paid from executive and organization liability insurance policies, according to Hollinger.

Current independent directors included in the settlement are: Richard R. Burt, former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger, Shmuel Meitar, and James R. Thompson.

Former independent directors that agreed to the settlement are Dwayne Andreas, Raymond Chambers, Marie Josee-Kravis, Robert Strauss, A. Alfred Taubman, George Weidenfeld, and Leslie Wexner.

Separately, Hollinger said it plans to file its delayed 2004 quarterly reports by the end of May and its annual report by the end of August. The company plans to file its third-quarter results on time in November.

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