Thursday, February 05, 2004

Conrad Black owns the Mammoth Times and Hollinger doesn't

From an editorial (unstable link) in The New York Observer referring to an article in The Wall Street Journal (which is not readily accessible online; see also here):

"In 2001, Hollinger sold the Mammoth Times, a California paper it had bought in 1999 for $1.75 million, for $1 to Horizon, owned and controlled by Lord Black and Mr. Radler. Why did Hollinger’s board agree to sell the paper for $1? They were told that the paper was losing money and there were no other interested buyers. But the Mammoth Times had actually been profitable, and earned $119,700 in the month after the deal closed. Another buyer had been so interested in purchasing the paper that he’d signed a letter of intent to buy it for $1.25 million. But these details were kept from the Hollinger board, and Lord Black was able to effectively sell himself his own paper and collect the paper’s profits after the sale. The Journal notes that at least two other deals in which Hollinger sold papers to Horizon for $1 are under investigation."

As the editorial notes: ". . . it seems as if Lord Black woke up every morning thinking of some new way to rip off Hollinger shareholders."