Tuesday, March 30, 2004

Cay: Black holding on

Media tycoon Conrad Black's holding company said it would make an interest payment on a $120 million bond before the end of a 30-day grace period on 30 March.

Toronto-based Hollinger Inc failed to make the interest payment, believed to be about US$7.4 million, due 1 March on the senior secured notes. But it said it was not in default before the grace period expired.

The company said it raised the cash through the sale of shares of Hollinger International, the US-based operating arm of the media group that includes the Daily Telegraph, Jerusalem Post and Chicago Sun-Times, as well as a 40 percent interest in Cayman Free Press.
A US court last month barred Black's plan to sell his controlling stake to British investors Frederick and David Barclay, saying Black "breached his fiduciary duty" to other shareholders.

Black faces a further confrontation with Hollinger shareholders, who are seeking $200 million in damages and interest accusing him of helping himself to unwarranted indemnities. 
On 4 March, a Chancery Court judge rebuked the Canadian-born Black, barred him from selling his voting control of the company and endorsed a plan by independent Hollinger directors to auction the publishing company's assets instead. 

Black has appealed that ruling.
Murphy's law in action here.


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