There may be a bidding war for the Toronto Star’s publisher, but we’ll have to wait a little longer to find out.
The deadline to formalize a second offer for the company is now Monday at 5 p.m., buying extra time for technology executive brothers Matthew and Tyler Proud and finance industry executive Neil Selfe to make their offer official. They will be competing with a $ 52 million offer made earlier by entrepreneurs Jordan Bitove and Paul Rivett.
While the deadline had previously been reported to be Friday at 5 p.m., there was some disagreement over whether that was in fact the case and the deadline is now agreed to be on Monday, sources told the Star.
If the Proud and Selfe bid becomes official, Bitove and Rivett have five business days to match the new offer. To do so, they might have to go back to their lender: They were originally planning to finance the purchase with a $ 55-million loan from Canso Investment Counsel.
The Proud and Selfe bid, made through Canadian Modern Media Holdings Inc., also includes former Ontario finance minister and Ontario Liberal Party president Greg Sorbara.
Selfe’s firm Infor Financial Group is an underwriter for the IPO of legal software firm Dye & Durham Corp., where Matthew Proud is the CEO. Tyler Proud is CEO of technology company Avesdo Inc.
The team has not yet disclosed the source of its financing.
Both bids are still for less money than the $ 69 million in cash Torstar had on hand at the end of the first quarter. As of the end of first quarter, Torstar was debt free.
A July 21 meeting where shareholders are being asked to vote on NordStar’s offer is still scheduled to go ahead. Torstar’s board has previously said it recommends the NordStar bid, calling it “in the best interests of the company.”
The Proud brothers’ offer is worth 72 cents per share, while Bitove and Rivett’s offer is worth 63 cents per share. Bitove and Rivett initially offered 56.6 cents per share, but that offer was rejected by Torstar’s board. Their current offer was made public in late May after being recommended by the board.
Torstar shares closed at 71 cents per share Friday, down one cent on the day.
Bitove and Rivett have said they intend to take Torstar private. Former Ontario premier David Peterson is part of Bitove and Rivett’s bid.
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