Black Accused of Disruptive Tactics Over Telegraph Sale

09 July 2004

Beleaguered peer Lord Conrad Black is accused by the company he formerly led -- Hollinger International [H-Intl] -- of trying to disrupt the agreed £665 million ($1.23bn; €996.5m) sale of Britain's Telegraph Group to the Barclay brothers.

Black, who remains H-Intl's controlling shareholder, argues that sale of the Telegraph (the group's prime asset) requires a shareholder vote and has successfully sought a legal hearing to decide the issue. The case will be heard in a Delaware court on July 23.

However, in papers filed with the court, H-Intl insists that the sale does not represent "substantially all" of Hollinger's holdings; nor is it subject to Delaware law because the seller is incorporated in the UK. Black's suit, claims the company, "is designed solely to delay the Telegraph sale".

But, hands aloft in pious innocence, a Black spokesman insists that His Lordship's move is "simply an effort to assert shareholders' rights".

Data sourced from: Financial Times; additional content by WARC staff