Skip to comments.Lord Black pays a price for FDR papers
Posted on 08/18/2003 4:59:22 PM PDT by AdamSelene235
Conrad's Black's passion for former US president Franklin Delano Roosevelt has resulted in strained relations between the newspaper publisher and investors in Hollinger International, the company he runs.
The upcoming publication of Franklin Delano Roosevelt, Champion of Freedom, represents the culmination of a 20-year mission for author Lord Black. But the recent disclosure by Hollinger, which publishes the Daily Telegraph and the Chicago Sun-Times, that it purchased $8m-worth (£5-worth) of FDR historical documents has angered at least one shareholder.
The institutional investor alleged that Hollinger's March disclosure suggested Lord Black was using Hollinger's coffers for his own benefit.
In June, the company was forced by Tweedy Browne, another investor, to investigate some of its prior disposals and millions of dollars in fees paid to Lord Black and others.
However, Lord Black has defended the purchase of the documents, only two of which out of many thousands were referred to in the book's footnotes, he said.
"This doesn't cause any embarrassment. The value today is undoubtedly more than we paid," Lord Black said. The chief executive said he had determined not to use his own money to purchase the papers because "$8m was not something I was prepared to spend".
Although Lord Black portrayed the purchase of the memorabilia as a typical example of corporate art buying, he also admitted none of the historical documents was on display in Hollinger's offices.
It sounds like its the shareholder's money.
Interesting behavior for a corporations that has 595 million in debt and is hemorrhaging nearly 100 million a year.