Thomson Corporation sold its last two newspapers, the Winnipeg Free Press and the Brandon Sun, to FP Canadian Newspapers, Limited Partnership for an undisclosed amount. The Winnipeg Free Press has the largest circulation of any daily paper in Manitoba. The deal closed on November 30, 2001. This completes the disposition programme Thomson initiated in February 2000, which generated proceeds of approximately US$2.75 billion.
McCarthy Tétrault LLP acted for the purchaser, including Iain Scott and Alejandra Flah (business), Gregory Winfield (pension), Dean Palmer (labour and employment), Rosemarie Wertschek, Q.C., Steven Baum and James Warnock (tax), and Allen Kirk (business) of the firm’s Calgary office also assisted. Robert Stephenson and Eva Sommer (banking) of McCarthy Tétrault’s Toronto office were responsible for financing matters. Other counsel assisting the purchaser included Richard Adams (real estate) and William Olson (labour) of Thomson Dorfman Sweatman in Winnipeg, and Greg Lewis and Jay LeMoine of Bull, Housser & Tupper in Vancouver.
Torys LLP acted for Thomson, including Mike Siltala, Cameron Koziskie, Peter Walker, Mel Blair and Jim Welkoff (tax), Carolyn Naiman (competition) and Hugh O’Reilly (employment, pension and benefits).
The Toronto-Dominion Bank, representing a syndicate of lenders, provided senior debt financing. Jay Feldman, Mario DiFiore and Victor Liu of Goodmans LLP represented TD Bank and other lenders. Agent counsel assisting the lending syndicate were Kenneth Filkow, Q.C., Michael Willcock and Diane Stasiuk of D’Arcy & Deacon in Winnipeg.