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Torstar Corp. co-owner Bitove makes ‘no apologies’ amid tension with business partner

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Torstar Corp.

One of Torstar Corp.’s co-owners says he’s “unapologetic” for how he runs his newspaper business after his business partners filed a court order to liquidate the parent company.

Nordstar Capital Inc. co-owner Jordan Bitove said in a statement that the company has been working to make the company more resilient, accountable and competitive.

“I did this to ensure that the Toronto Star, Canada’s largest newspaper, continues to deliver the news, opinions and stories that a diverse audience seeks and the investigative journalism that democracy depends on. At the same time, we will preserve The Star’s incredible legacy and build a brighter world, stronger future,” he said.

Vitove said he has focused on building a product around the authoritative journalism that readers demand, and has focused on building a sustainable business that capitalizes on that demand.

“Some investors prefer to cut costs radically, bare product and shrink newsrooms to extract short-term returns for shareholders.”

The statement was made by Bitove business partner Paul Rivett in documents filed with the Ontario Superior Court earlier this month, outlining the breakdown of the relationship with the partner and seeking the sale of assets to liquidate the company. It was issued after

Claims not yet verified in court

In court filings, Rivett said that Bitove had changed his mind about a previously agreed plan, would not provide funding to the Toronto Star, which he oversees as an issuer, would disregard proper corporate governance, It claims to have ignored its responsibility to Torstar and Nordstar.

Rivett did not immediately respond to a request for comment on Friday, and the allegations have yet to be tested in court.

Rivett has asked the court to appoint PricewaterhouseCoopers to manage the asset sale to resolve the “deadlock” between the parties, and the dissolution of Nordstar is a clear decision for the companies under its umbrella, including Metroland Media Group. It is the only way to pave the way, he said. and he is NorthStar Gaming Inc.

“Given the way the company operates, the applicant, employees of the company under its control, and Torstar news readers could all suffer irreparable harm if interim relief is not granted. ‘, the filing said.

It also said Bitove resigned from Nordstar’s board of directors on August 13.

Union “disappointment”

Unifor, which represents more than 10,000 media professionals, said in a statement on Friday it was “disappointed” by the court’s filing.

“The unexpected news was completely disrespectful to the hardworking staff of the Toronto Star who were caught off guard by this.
Information, or rather, is scarce,” said Unifor president Lana Payne.

“Journalists and media professionals often risk their lives to provide factual reporting to the public, but they deserve more.”

Unifor Local 87-M represents many Toronto Star employees.

Nordstar acquired Torstar in 2020, taking the company private, including the Toronto Star and various local news outlets operating in other cities.

Prior to the deal closing, Nordstar raised its bid for Torstar from $52 million to $60 million in response to a rival offer to the media conglomerate.

The acquisition was financed by a loan from investment firm Canso Investment Counsel Ltd.

Rivett previously served as president of Fairfax Financial before joining Bitove, part of the ownership consortium that built the SkyDome, now Rogers Centre.

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