Canadian newspaper takeovers still in play

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TORONTO--Quebecor, Montreal, has bought 99.5% of the outstanding common shares of Sun Media Corp. as it finalizes its buy-out of the Toronto-based publishing company. Quebecor's $655 million offer for Sun Media was announced in December.

Quebecor plans to sell four of Sun Media's Ontario daily newspapers to Torstar Corp. of Toronto, which had also been trying to buy Sun Media. Torstar in turn has offered Quebecor the option of buying up to eight of Torstar's weekly newspapers.

Quebecor will control 21.6% of daily newspaper circulation in Canada based on completion of the Sun Media purchase and sell-off to Torstar.

Meanwhile, Hollinger Canadian Publishing Holding of Toronto has announced it will increase its takeover bid for all common shares of Southam Inc. from $14.67 a share to $16.83. Hollinger already owns 71% of Southam. If Hollinger is successful in attracting the outstanding shares, it would control 40.7% of daily newspaper circulation in Canada.

Copyright January 1999, Crain Communications Inc.

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