The Toronto Star to be sold, taken private

TORONTO (AP) — The Toronto Star and its Torstar Corp newspaper chain said Wednesday it has agreed to be sold for $52 million (US$38 million).

The transaction will see the Toronto-based media company taken off the public stock market by NordStar, a firm run by businessmen Paul Rivett and Jordan Bitove.

Under the terms of the transaction, NordStar will acquire all of the issued and outstanding Class A shares and Class B non-voting shares of Torstar for 63 cents Canadian (US$46 cents) per share.

Torstar’s shares closed at 40 cents at the end of trading Tuesday, but the company says the 63 cents per share it agreed to represents a nearly 67% premium on the 20-day volume-weighted average trading price of the Class B non-voting shares.

Torstar says the deal was recommended by a special committee and has the support of the majority of its shareholders and its largest indepcoolendent shareholder, Fairfax Financial Holdings Ltd.

Rivett recently retired from his role as president of Fairfax Financial Holdings, while Bitove is best known for helping found the Toronto Raptors basketball team. Torstar holds an investment in The Canadian Press as part of a joint agreement with subsidiaries of the Globe and Mail and Montreal’s La Presse.

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