On July 31, 2001, Hollinger International Inc. sold most of its remaining Ontario newspaper assets to Osprey Media Group Inc., a company backed by a group of investors, including Scotia Merchant Capital, Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan Board and certain members of the management of the Ontario group of newspapers (including president Michael Sifton) for approximately $220 million cash. To date, Hollinger has completed sales of more than $4 billion of newspaper assets since its divestiture program was announced last year. The syndicate of lenders consisted of The Bank of Nova Scotia, Bank of Montreal and Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce, which provided bank financing consisting of a $140 million term loan and $50 million operating credit.
The Torys team acting for Hollinger on this transaction included Darren Sukonick, Samantha Sheen and Jennifer Soward (corporate), Jim Welkoff (tax), Jane Helmstadter (real property), Hugh O’Reilly (employment, pension and benefits), Dennis Mahony (environmental) and Peter Birkness and Amanda Balasubramanian (banking), with help from Beth DeMerchant and Melissa LaFlair (corporate). Davies Ward Phillips & Vineberg LLP represented Osprey Media Group in the acquisition and financing. The team consisted of Bill Ainley (M&A), Nick Leblovic (financing), Tim Moran (corporate), Julie Lane (financing), Anuradha Iyer (corporate) and Colin Campbell and Duncan Osborne advised on tax. Hollinger was represented by Torys, the team consisting of Darren Sukonick, Jennifer Soward, Samantha Sheen and Jim Welkoff. The banks were represented by McMillan Binch, with a team led by Andrew Kent and Marlin Horst (corporate financial services), with assistance from Brian Hilbers, Tony Wonnacott, Cindy Wan (corporate financial services) and Thomas Kapsales and Andrea Onn (real estate).