Torstar Corp. says it has agreed to sell it for $52 million to NordStar Capital.
The group , which owns The Toronto Star, still produces more than 70 newspapers and, according to the company’s website, runs hundreds of media companies in Canada.
The transaction was recommended by a special committee of Torstar’s board of directors and has the support of most of its shareholders and its largest independent shareholder, Fairfax Financial Holdings Ltd., which will see the media company taken private.
NordStar is managed by Jordan Bitove and Paul Rivett, and is solely owned by the families Bitove and Rivett.
Rivett retired recently from his role as chairman of Fairfax Financial Holdings.
According to a Torstar press release, former Ontario Premier David Peterson has accepted to be named as Toronto Star’s vice-chair after the deal was concluded, while Torstar CEO John Boynton is expected to remain in his post.
“While we have loved the company and are immensely proud of it, the time has come to pass the torch” Torstar board chair John Honderich said in the statement. The statement went on to say the new owners pledged to build on Torstar ‘s legacy of quality journalism and promote the Toronto Star’s Atkinson Principles.
“We believe in news. With this transaction we can ensure a future for world-class journalists and world-class journalism befitting the Star’s storied history,” Bitove said in the same statement.
Honderich clarified further of what was behind the deal, in a Star Tuesday post. “No one disputes that the business model for newspapers has come under immense pressure,” he added.
“In this new digital era, with Facebook and Google taking the lion’s share of all digital advertising, media outlets have been going under across North America.”
The star was far from resistant, he added. And while Honderich also said the paper had attempted to innovate and adopt new strategies for success, it was “an uphill sturggle.”