Hollinger Rebuffs Black's Request for Mediation

19 May 2004

Hollinger International [H-Intl] has rejected a proposal by former chairman/ceo Lord Conrad Black that the two settle their dispute via mediation.

The ailing media group claims Black, his wife Barbara Amiel and former executives misused huge sums of company money and is suing them for $1.2 billion (€1.0bn; £0.7bn). The Canadian-born peer has vehemently denied the allegations.

It has emerged that earlier this month a lawyer for Black wrote to the special board committee probing H-Intl's dealings to request mediation -- a measure suggested to both sides by a Delaware judge.

However, Hollinger insisted this week that it "is not interested in third-party mediation", though it added that it would be "prepared to listen to any proposal Black wishes to make to resolve the outstanding litigation."

● Separately, a US federal judge has ruled that Hollinger Inc -- the holding company through which Black controls H-Intl -- could not overturn an agreement between the media group and the Securities and Exchange Commission.

Black argued that the deal -- under which H-Intl admitted breaching securities law and allowed the ongoing probe by the special committee -- undermined his rights as controlling shareholder.

Data sourced from: multiple sources; additional content by WARC staff