Wednesday, 27 June 2007

New Osprey bid

Updated links

Stop the presses.

Reuters Canada and are reporting a new Osprey offer from Black Press Ltd. in Briitish Columbia has been received and it tops Quebecor's offer.

No, not that Black. This one is partly owned by Torstar.

Bloomberg reports:

"Osprey Media Income Fund, a Canadian newspaper publisher, said it received a takeover bid of about C$404 million ($377 million) from Black Press Ltd., topping a previous offer from Quebecor Media Inc. Osprey shares surged.

"Black Press offered C$8.25 per share in cash, according to a statement from the companies today. Osprey, based in Markham, Ontario, said the offer is a ``superior proposal'' to Quebecor Media's May 31 bid of C$7.25 per share.

"Osprey, the publisher of 20 daily newspapers and 34 non- dailies, said it notified Quebecor that it has until July 5 to make an amended offer. If there is no higher bid, Osprey said it will pay Quebecor a C$15 million termination fee."

Bloomberg says Black Press, a closely held company based in Victoria, B.C., owns 150 community papers and 15 regional press operations. Its annual revenue is $500 million. David Black is chief executive officer and chairman and his family owns 80.6% of the shares.

Reuters Canada says books and newspaper publisher Torstar Corp. owns 19.4% of Black Press. Torstar publishes the Toronto Star, Canada's largest daily newspaper.

Bloomberg says Quebecor has told Osprey that the Black Press offer may have breached terms of Quebecor's acquisition agreement with Osprey and indicated it may sue, according to the statement.

(A press release Wednesday from Quebecor.)

You might recall Torstar has complained it had an agreement with Quebecor to share Osprey's newspapers before Quebecor made its solo bid in May.

The Globe and Mail highlights the Torstar/Quebecor feud in its report today and this is's story from Canadian Press.

Who is David Black?

Online sources say Black’s career in newspapers began as a junior business analyst with the Toronto Star and is quick to confess that he came at the newspaper industry from the business side.

In 1975, Black began his foray into community newspaper ownership, when his father offered to sell him the Williams Lake Tribune. It was the first of 62 B.C. newspapers he would own.

Black Press, not Quebecor?

Is that a collective sigh of relief we heard from employees at Osprey's 54 daily and weekly newspapers across Ontario?

We have got ourselves a ball game and Osprey shareholders are cheering from the sidelines.

Stay tuned.

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