Star-Bulletin owner bids for papers
Canada-based Black Press Ltd., which owns the Honolulu Star-Bulletin and Midweek, said yesterday it is bidding for Osprey Media Income Fund, a publisher of 20 daily and 34 non-daily newspapers, magazines and specialty publications based in Ontario.
"These are an excellent group of newspapers which are similar to the publications we produce in Western Canada," said David Black, chairman and chief executive officer. "We look forward to the opportunity of closing this deal."
Its bid of $7.70 for each outstanding share of Osprey tops a May 31 bid of $6.77 by Quebecor Media Inc. Black Press' bid totals about $377 million.
Osprey's principal shareholders, Scotia Merchant Capital Corp. and the Ontario Teachers Pension Plan, initially agreed to transfer nearly 54 percent of Osprey's outstanding shares to QMI.
Now, QMI has until July 5 to amend its offer for the shares. If there is no higher bid, Osprey said it will pay Quebecor a $14 million termination fee.
In the meantime QMI alleges that Victoria-based Black Press may have breached standstill obligations to Osprey, which Osprey is required to enforce according to the terms of QMI's acquisition agreement. QMI's remedies include possible litigation. Osprey officials say the company is in full compliance with the agreement.
Black Press is the largest private newspaper publisher in Canada, with 150 community and daily newspapers, Web sites and regional web press operations. It employs more than 3,000 people in British Columbia, Alberta, Washington, Oregon, Akron, Ohio and Honolulu.
Bloomberg News contributed to this story.