Lord Conrad Black of Crossharbour and his Toronto-registered holding company Hollinger Incorporated [H-Inc], the parent of newspaper group Hollinger International [H-Intl], have been ordered by a US judge to immediately repay $29.8 million (€24.44m; £16.29m) to the publishing subsidiary.
H-Intl insiders say the company, from which Black was ousted as chairman/ceo, will go to court to enforce the order if the payment is not immediately forthcoming.
Meantime, His Lordship is about to file a lawsuit against his former fiefdom to prevent the sale of its prime asset -- Britain's Telegraph Group -- to the Barclay brothers. Black, ever the democrat, insists the sale should be approved by shareholders, among whom he and his associates are numbered.
H-Intl insists shareholder approval is not required. Black thinks otherwise, not least because there are tax and other benefits that will accrue to him in very large numbers if H-Intl is sold as a single entity rather than parcelled-up in individual lots.
In bygone days, Black would have called all the shots in such a situation, thanks to a Byzantine arrangement whereby his 30% holding in H-Intl controls 72% of its voting rights. A state of affairs temporarily overruled earlier this year by Judge Leo Strine, Vice Chancellor of the Delaware Court of Chancery.
Strine it was who also ordered Black to repay the disputed management fees and non-compete payments diverted by the former chairman and his lieutenants from H-Intl's coffers.
Observers of the long-running Hollinger versus Hollinger saga find it piquant that the decision concerning the Telegraph sale will rest with the aforesaid Judge Strine.
Data sourced from: MediaGuardian.co.uk; additional content by WARC staff