Hollinger Inc. seeks seats on Hollinger International board
WASHINGTON – Hollinger Inc. wants two seats on the board of its newspaper-publishing subsidiary, Hollinger International Inc., the latest move in the continuing battle for control between the two entities.But Hollinger International, which publishes about 20 daily newspapers and has stakes in 200 other publications, rejected Hollinger Inc.’s request, instead offering just one seat to its parent, according to a regulatory filing Tuesday.Toronto-based Hollinger Inc. controls a 17.4 percent equity stake and 66.8 percent voting stake in Hollinger International.The parent company says the two seats it seeks are proportional to its ownership stake in Hollinger International, whose holdings include the Chicago Sun-Times.Hollinger International said it rejected Hollinger Inc.’s request for two seats because nominees already serving on Hollinger Inc.’s board “would be conflicted and not in a position to act exclusively in the best interests” of Hollinger International’s shareholders.Former chief executive Conrad Black controlled Hollinger International through Hollinger Inc.Black has been accused of looting more than $80 million from Hollinger International. He has pleaded not guilty.Six members of Hollinger International’s 11-member board told the company last month that they don’t intend to stand for re-election.Among the departing directors are former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger and Richard Perle, an assistant secretary of defense under President Ronald Reagan.Hollinger Inc. said that it wants two seats on the board of Hollinger International if the board has 12 seats or fewer, and three seats if it has more than 12 members.Hollinger Inc. nominated Randy Benson, its chief restructuring officer, for one of the seats it seeks, and provided a list of five other candidates for the second seat it wants to fill.Hollinger International said last month that it intends to decrease the size of its board, but didn’t say by how many seats.In morning trading, shares of Hollinger International edged up 7 cents, or 0.8 percent, to $8.90 on the New York Stock Exchange.
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