A Delaware court this week accepted a settlement from a group of former Hollinger International Inc. directors who agreed to end a shareholder lawsuit by paying Sun-Times Media Group Inc. $50 million.
The settlement, first announced in May 2005, will be paid by executive and organization liability insurance policies, the newspaper publisher said.
Hollinger is the predecessor to Sun-Times Media Group, which publishes the Chicago Sun-Times as well as community newspapers around Chicago.
Cardinal Value Equity Partners LP filed the suit on behalf of Hollinger shareholders in 2003, alleging a group of directors were lax in approving transactions involving the sale of newspaper operations for as little as $1.
The directors who agreed to the settlement have denied any wrongdoing or liability, and the agreement contains no admission of guilt, the company said.
After an internal investigation, Hollinger pushed out a number of senior executives, including chief executive Conrad Black, who is to go to trial in March on fraud and racketeering charges for allegedly plundering millions of dollars from the company.
“We are pleased that the Delaware Chancery Court has approved these settlements,” Gordon A. Paris, Sun-Times Media Group’s chief executive officer, said in a statement. “The Special Committee is committed to continuing our efforts to obtain additional recoveries for the Company.”
The former directors who agreed to the settlement are former Secretary of State Henry A. Kissinger, former Illinois Gov. James R. Thompson, Richard R. Burt, Shmuel Meitar, Dwayne O. Andreas, Raymond G. Chambers, Marie-Josee Kravis, Robert S. Strauss, A. Alfred Taubman, Lord Weidenfeld and Leslie H. Wexner.
The Delaware court also approved a $2.8 million settlement with former company executive Peter Y. Atkinson.
Sun-Times Media Group shares fell 17 cents, or 3.1 percent, to $5.33 in heavy trading Monday on the New York Stock Exchange.
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