Having ousted former chairman Lord Conrad Black of Crossharbour, the board committee now at the helm of Hollinger International (H-Intl) has given the green light to investment bank Lazards to commence the process of selling group assets.

Among these are such plums as the Chicago Sun-Times, the Jerusalem Post and Britain's Telegraph Newspapers.

H-Intl confirmed Friday it had “instructed Lazards to continue the strategic process for the company’s assets and has contacted interested parties”.

The bank has advised its client the cash raised will be maximized if the assets are sold separately -- a course of action, insists a company insider, that can proceed without the approval of all shareholders, Black included.

According to this insider, Press Holdings International (the acquisition vehicle of Sir David and Sir Frederick Barclay) is not on Lazards' mailing list -- an omission with unequivocal implications.

The move places H-Intl on a collision course with its parent Hollinger Incorporated (H-Inc), which remains under Black's control until such time as its sale to Press Holdings International has been completed.

Thereby begging the old syllogistic poser about irresistible forces and immovable objects!

Data sourced from: Times Online (UK); additional content by WARC staff