Friday, 6 July 2007

Osprey hold 'em

Osprey trustees are playing a strange game of poker in trying to attract the best offer in the sale 54 daily and weekly newspapers across Ontario.

They were mighty quick to recommend acceptance of Quebecor's new offer yesterday, which was made soon after Quebecor lost a court bid to curb the Black Press offer.

Black Press was given until Aug. 3 to top Quebecor's latest offer, but Osprey execs told reporters they are recommending the new bid be accepted.

To recap the high stakes game:

May 31 - Quebecor makes a solo bid of $355 million, or $7.25 per unit. TorStar cries foul, saying it had an agreement with Quebecor to share the Osprey newspapers.

June 27 - Black Press, based in British Columbia and partly owned by TorStar, offers about $405 million, or $8.25 per unit

July 5 - Quebecor loses a court bid to block the Black Press deal then ups its bid to about $414 million, or $8.45 per unit. Later in the day, Osprey's trustees recommend acceptance of Quebecor's new offer, which is a 16.6% increase over its first offer.

That's it? Game over?

If we were playing, we would wait to see if Black Press is still in the game.

Game over, or not, we ponder the fate of Osprey newspaper employees down the road when the dust has settled. Will they have to endure the same carnage experienced by Sun Media since Quebecor took over in 1999?

Time will tell.

No comments:

Post a Comment