Black Press Ltd. files for creditor protection, announces sale

Black Press Ltd. files for creditor protection, announces sale
The Black Press Ltd logo is shown image.Black Press Ltd. says it has entered creditor protection as it works to restructure its financial affairs. The Surrey, B.C.-based publisher says the order under the Companies' Creditors Arrangement Act provides a stay of proceedings and approves debtor-in-possession financing.

Black Press Ltd., the owner of dozens of community newspapers across Western Canada, said Monday it had entered creditor protection, secured a tentative sale of the company and that founder David Black is retiring.

The Surrey, B.C.-based publisher said that as part of proceedings under the Companies’ Creditors Arrangement Act, it has entered into a sales agreement to Canso Investment Counsel Ltd., Deans Knight Capital Management Ltd. and Carpenter Media Group.

The company said it will seek court approval to launch a sale solicitation process, with the sale agreement to the three investors acting as a backstop.

Black Press has also secured debtor-in-possession financing from Canso that will help it maintain operations in the interim, while it says a sale of the company will provide needed investment to allow the publisher to continue serving readers and advertisers.

In announcing the retirement of president and majority owner David Black, who founded Black Press in 1975, the company said his family believe they’re leaving the publisher in good hands.

“The Black family is confident that the restructuring of Black Press announced today will be successful and enable Black Press to continue to provide high quality community journalism, and that the proposed new owners will be excellent stewards of Black Press’ treasured publications.”

Subsidiary Black Press Media intends to continue to operate its local news publications within Canada, with its head office remaining in Surrey, B.C.

The company publishes 150 daily and weekly newspapers, magazines and websites including the Abbotsford News, Surrey Now-Leader and Yukon News.

Black Press, which also has publications in Washington, Hawaii and Alaska, says it will seek recognition of the CCAA proceedings in the U.S.

KSV Advisory has been appointed as the monitor for Black Press’s CCAA proceedings.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Jan. 15, 2024.

The Canadian PressThe Canadian Press

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