Osprey, Torstar swap papers in Southern Ontario

In a move that saw significant change in ownership in southern Ontario, Osprey Media Group and Torstar Corporation swapped several papers and printing assets.

Osprey purchased several newspapers in eastern and southwestern Ontario from Torstar, including papers in Napanee, Barry’s Bay, Bancroft, Dresden, Petrolia, Wallaceburg, Kingston, Saugeen and their associated publications.

Torstar picked up OspreyÔÇÖs Brabant and Fairway community newspaper groups, as well as the Orangeville Banner, Flamborough Review, and Hamilton Web printing operations for $30.6 million in cash.

The Brabant and Fairway groups (representing nine community newspapers and three other publications) are located in the Hamilton and Kitchener areas.

“The expansion in eastern and southwestern Ontario meets our key strategic growth objectives,” said Michael Sifton, President and CEO of Osprey Media Group, in a release. “The new properties also enhance Osprey’s focus on smaller Ontario communities. These acquisitions will allow us to serve new customers and to better serve existing customers with a more diverse offering of products and services. It will also ensure the long-term viability of the newly acquired papers.

“I welcome our new employees into the Osprey family. Osprey will benefit from their proven record of creativity and entrepreneurship,ÔÇØ he said.

Osprey publishes 22 dailies and 30 community newspapers, including various specialty publications.

Robert Prichard, President and CEO of Torstar, said in a release that “The transaction is both financially accretive and strategically attractive to Torstar and is consistent with our stated strategy of expanding our community newspaper business. Building on our investment in Black Press last year, we are making steady progress in growing our community newspaper franchise at reasonable prices.”