Takeover bid for Canada's no. 1 newspaper chain

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TORONTO--Canadian newspaper magnate Conrad Black wants to take Canada's no. 1 daily newspaper chain private and is bidding to buy out the remaining shareholders.

In a two-part deal announced December 2, no. 1 chain Southam Inc. - where Mr. Black is chairman and CEO - will pay its share-holders a special dividend of roughly $4.55.

Then Hollinger Canadian Publishing holdings, owned by Mr. Black's Hollinger Inc., proposes to pay more than $14 a share, or $315 million, for the 29% of Southam that it doesn't already own.

Southam accounts for an estimated 32% of Canada's average weekly circulation for daily papers; Hollinger accounts for 9%. In June 1997, most minority shareholders rejected Black's first try to buy Southam's remaining shares.

Copyright December 1998, Crain Communications Inc.

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