Former acolytes of disgraced newspaper baron Lord Conrad Black have agreed to pay a disgruntled investor in Hollinger International [H-Intl] - the company over which his Lordship formerly held sway - a cool $50 million (€38.79m; £26.44m) in compensation for their lack of collective oversight.

A number of erstwhile and extant directors - among them former Illinois governor James Thompson; Marie Josée-Kravis, the wife of financier Henry Kravis; ex-Sotheby's chairman Alfred Taubman; and Leslie Wexner - have agreed to pay up and look happy, despite denials of any malfeasance or liability in the matter of Black's alleged looting of the company.

The investor, Cardinal Capital Partners of Dallas and New York, sued H-Intl's board for failing to control the asserted diversion of $85m in company funds into the pockets of Black and other directors [WAMN: 18-Apr-05].

Black and his former henchman David Radler are currently subject to a criminal investigation by the US Attorney's Office in Chicago. They also face civil fraud charges filed by the US Securities and Exchange Commission. The accusations are vigorously denied by both men who insist the payments were authorized by the H-Intl board.

Cardinal, however, is now satisfied. Says managing director Robert Kirkpatrick: "We are pleased with the settlement. We believe that Hollinger International shareholders have suffered significantly as a result of the board's lack of requisite diligence."

Data sourced from Financial Times Online; additional content by WARC staff