Hollinger Delays 2003 Results Beyond SEC Deadline

17 March 2004

Beleaguered newspaper group Hollinger International [H-Intl] has failed to meet a deadline for the filing of its 2003 accounts.

Under US listing regulations, the company had until Monday to file its annual financial report to the Securities and Exchange Commission. However, it has been unable to do so due to the continued wrangling over its fiscal affairs.

H-Intl blamed the delay on "the ongoing investigation being conducted by the special committee of the company's board of directors, as well as the disruption of management services provided to the company arising from its dispute with Ravelston."

Ravelston is the vehicle of Lord Conrad Black, who controls parent company Hollinger Inc [H-Inc]. This firm in turn owns 73% of the voting rights (but only 35% of the equity) in the media group.

H-Intl has in the past paid substantial 'management fees' to H-Inc. It is suing its parent for papers relating to these payments, without which it claims it cannot complete its accounts. In addition. H-Intl's special board committee is still investigating non-compete fees paid to Black and his associates..

The newspaper group said it planned "to complete its financial reporting process as soon as practicable." Once the company has filed its accounts, it can hold its annual shareholder meeting.

Data sourced from: Telegraph.co.uk; additional content by WARC staff