In a deal worth $220 million in cash, Hollinger Inc. has sold its remaining Ontario newspaper assets to a company that will be controlled by the Sifton family. Hollinger sold its 28 remaining Ontario newspaper assets to Osprey Media Group on July 31. The assets, which include small dailies and community newspapers, include the Hanover Post and the Orangeville Banner. The Ontario Teachers Pension Plan, Scotia Merchant Capital, and the Sifton family are investors in the deal. Michael Sifton, president of Hollinger Canadian Newspapers, will be president in control of the day-to-day operations of the new newspaper group – Osprey Media Group. The Kingston-Whig Standard quotes Sifton as saying he thinks community newspapers are a good buy because they can take economic downturns better than other media. “We’re looking at expanding within the community newspaper field, plus we’re looking at arrangements with other media opportunities,” he said. The Sifton family is no stranger to newspaper ownership. Sir Clifford Sifton was a federal politician who bought the Winnipeg Free Press in 1899. The family acquired several daily newspapers in Saskatchewan during the late-20s. The Sifton family sold their newspapers to Hollinger in 1995. Hollinger still owns magazines and trade publications in Ontario, as well as newspapers in British Columbia.
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