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Hollinger International and Conrad Black: The Corporate Governance Conundrum



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Code : GOV0015

Year :
2005

Industry : Publishing

Region : USA

Teaching Note:Not Available

Structured Assignment :Not Available

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Excerpts

An Overview Hollinger International is an international newspaper publisher that owns English-language newspapers in the United States, the United Kingdom, Canada and Israel, a large number ofcommunity newspapers in Chicago and a portfolio of newmedia investments . The newspaper empirewhichwas set upwith a pair ofQuebecweeklieswas transformed into a powerfulmedia house by itsCEO, ConradMoffat Black (Black). Blackwas born onAugust 25th 1944 into awealthyCanadian family.His fatherGeorgeMonteguBlack, Jr.was the president of CanadianBreweries, a beer company...

Scandal Surfaces at Hollinger International However, all was not well at Hollinger International. The company was showing signs of problems. Hollinger Internationalís share price fell from$13 inMay 1994, to around $9 in early 1997 (Annexure IV). The company also witnessed a decline in the circulation and revenues of its newspapers. The circulation of Daily Telegraph had fallen to 920,000 by the end of 2003 compared with the daily sales of 1.2million copies in 1985. In the year 2001 and 2002,Hollinger International reported a net loss of $335million and $238million respectively...

The Waves of Scandal As BusinessWeek reports, Blackís reign at Hollinger International is like a blast from the past. Black was blithely using the company he controlled through a minority stake as his personalATM.9 Alavish personal lifestyle enjoyed by Black and his wife raised doubts in theminds of shareholders...

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The Findings by SEC

  • Management fee and other compensation paid to Black and his affiliates and associateswere excessive and irrational. Over the period 1997-2003, this amounted to $400million.
  • Taking $9.5million in 2000, without tellingHollinger Internationalís board. Radler paidMarkKipnis, the internal lawyer, $100,000 to facilitate the unauthorized transfer.

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