Osprey Media

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Osprey Media L.P. was a Canadian newspaper regional chain that published 20 daily newspapers, 34 non-daily newspapers, and a number of shopping guides and magazines in the Canadian province of Ontario.[1] Formerly an independent income trust, it was taken over by Quebecor's Sun Media division in 2007.

In September 2006, the last annual release of Canadian circulation figures before the company's takeover by Quebecor, Osprey Media's dailies had average daily paid and unpaid circulation / distribution of approximately 340,000 copies, while its non-daily newspapers had average weekly paid and unpaid circulation / distribution of approximately 466,000 copies.


Osprey Media Group was created in 2001, when Michael Sifton, heir to the family that had once owned the Regina Leader-Post and the Saskatoon Star-Phoenix, purchased many of the Ontario newspapers that had been put on the market by Conrad Black's Hollinger newspaper group.[2] As a newly incorporated media group, Osprey Media's purchase marked the first time in many years that a major newspaper sale significantly increased the diversity of newspaper ownership in Canada.

In April 2004,[3] Osprey Media Group, motivated by tax breaks,[2] became a subsidiary of Osprey Media Income Fund (OMIF),[4] a unit trust. They changed their name to Osprey Media LP in January 2006 after receiving Canada Revenue Agency approval of their reorganization plans.[5]

On May 31, 2007, it was announced that OMIF would be acquired by Quebecor Media Group for C$517 million.[1] The announcement noted that Scotia Merchant Capital and the Ontario Teachers' Pension Plan had conditionally agreed to tender units in their control which amount to over 50% of the outstanding units. According to Editor & Publisher, the sale of OMIF was at least in part motivated by the pending loss of the tax advantages which had earlier led to the creation of the unit trust.[2]

On June 27, 2007, a competing takeover offer from Black Press was also announced.[6][7] On July 6, 2007 OMIF accepted a revised offer from Quebecor Media Group of C$575.8 million.[7]

Osprey's current status is uncertain. While Quebecor's main website continues to identify Osprey as a separate subsidiary from Sun Media, most of the former Osprey newspapers' individual websites now indicate ownership by Sun Media, containing no references to Osprey at all, while Sun Media's website indicates direct ownership of Osprey's daily newspapers but makes no mention of the community weeklies.



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