01 August 2000

The Chicago Sun-Times, Britain’s Daily Telegraph, and the Jerusalem Post now represent the rump of Hollinger International’s former newspaper empire, following the disposal of its Canadian newspaper assets.

Controlled by Conrad Black, the international media group realised C$3.5 billion ($2.4bn) in cash and shares from the sale to CanWest Global Communications, Canada's third largest broadcasting operation.

The deal transforms CanWest overnight into a multimedia empire with estimated annual revenues of C$2.6bn. "CanWest is now content rich, advertiser friendly and e-commerce ready," said chief executive Leonard Asper.

Hollinger, which has recently invested in a series of internet ventures in the UK, says it will use the proceeds from the sale to reduce its US$1.7bn debt and pursue an international electronic development strategy. Some analysts believe that its new cash reserves could also be used to add new high profile media properties to Hollinger’s portfolio.

In New York, Hollinger shares rose by $1-3/4 to $16-3/8 by midday yesterday. Since the company announced it would sell most of its Canadian assets, its stock value has risen by nearly 70 per cent.

News source: Financial Times