Black Press outbids Quebecor for Osprey

For Osprey, $356 million from Quebecor just wasn't enough when Black Press offered $404 million. The bidding war has begun...

Quebecor Media has until July 5 to sweeten its offer for Osprey Media’s 54 newspapers after Black Press (owned in part by Torstar) put a better price forward. Osprey announced yesterday that it had received a better offer from Black Press – $404 million ($8.25 per share), compared to Quebecor’s offer to pay $356 million ($7.25 per share) at the beginning of the month (see MiC‘s June 1 coverage).

If Quebecor doesn’t put forward a better proposal, Osprey will take the superior Black Press offer – and pay a $15-million termination fee for its previous agreement with Quebecor. Quebecor has claimed that Black Press may have breached standstill obligations involved in Osprey’s original agreement – and litigation is possible.

Black Press, headquartered in Victoria, is the owner of 150 community papers and 15 regional web press operations in Western Canada, Washington, Oregon, Ohio and Honolulu. The Black family owns 80.6% of the company’s shares, while Torstar owns the other 19.4%.