Hollinger Lends Parent $7.4m to Dodge Default

08 March 2004

Ailing media group Hollinger International [H-Intl] has agreed to rescue its parent company from defaulting on a bond repayment.

H-Intl will lend Hollinger Inc [H-Inc]-- controlled by Lord Conrad Black -- $7.4 million (€6.1m; £4.1m) or guarantee a loan of the same sum so that it can make an interest payment on debts of $120m. The newspaper group will secure the handout with $15m of stock.

H-Inc was left heading for a default when a Delaware court blocked Black's sale of the company to Britain's Barclay brothers [WAMN: 27-Feb-04]. As part of his ruling, Judge Leo Strine ordered H-Intl and H-Inc to agree a loan.

He also instructed H-Inc to take "prompt steps" to recover monies owed by Black, his associate David Radler and his company Ravelston Management.

• Separately, H-Intl is reportedly negotiating a sale of its Jerusalem Post title to Canadian media group CanWest Global Communications.

The two firms have done business before, and in 2000 CanWest purchased most of H-Intl's Canadian newspapers in a $1.8 billion deal. They have recently been discussing outstanding issues relating to this sale, and insiders claim these talks have widened to include the Israeli title.

CanWest is regarded as a good home for the Jerusalem Post. It is controlled by the Asper family, which has in the past taken a strong pro-Israel editorial stance.

Data sourced from: The Wall Street Journal Online; additional content by WARC staff