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$20 million later, it’s all over but the crying (and the appeal)

The last fag-ends of the frayed mess left by the Hollinger Five are finally being clipped away. With Black and Radler in the pokey, Atkinson and Boultbee nervously awaiting their appeal and Mark Kipnis relatively free and clear, Hollinger Inc. cut its tattered umbilical cord to Sun-Times Media Group Inc. in one fell swoop. Yesterday, the company relinquished its super-voting shares and replaced them with common stock (consequently, the six board members appointed by Hollinger last July will resign) and settled with the SEC to the tune of $20-odd-million.

This so-called “disgorgement” ends the SEC’s prosecution of Conrad Black et al. and his corporate heirs. It is, as they say, all over but the crying. Well, the crying, Black’s appeal and a hearing scheduled for 10 a.m. this Friday, March 28, at the Ontario Securities Commission. For some reason, the words “horse” and “gate” and “barn” come to mind, but then again this entire squalid affair has, I suppose, rendered me a cynic.

Hollinger settles SEC allegations [Toronto Star]• Deal frees Sun-Times from Hollinger control [Chicago Tribune]• Hollinger and Sun-Times settle disputes [Financial Times]• Hollinger reaches settlement with SEC [Globe and Mail]• IN THE MATTER OF THE SECURITIES ACT R.S.O. 1990, c. S.5, AS AMENDED - AND - HOLLINGER INC., CONRAD M. BLACK, F. DAVID RADLER, JOHN A. BOULTBEE, AND PETER Y. ATKINSON [Ontario Securities Commission]

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