One of many companions within the firm which controls the Toronto Star has utilized to the courts to interrupt up the partnership and order its property auctioned off.
The go well with, led by Paul Rivett and his holding firm Tevir Investments Inc., is in search of a courtroom order to dissolve NordStar Capital, the partnership created by Rivett and Jordan Bitove to buy Torstar in 2020.
Within the utility, filed on Sept. 2, the connection between Rivett, chairman and co-proprietor of Torstar, and Bitove, writer of the Toronto Star and co-proprietor of Torstar, is described as “irrevocably impaired.”
“There’s full impasse between Rivett and Bitove. … They will now not work collectively,” the applying mentioned.
Beneath a draft courtroom order filed with Rivett’s lawsuit, the 2 sides would every have an opportunity to bid for NordStar’s property, both as an entire, or piecemeal. If neither is taken with a specific asset, the draft order proposes to promote it in a public public sale.
The timeline for a possible public sale wasn’t instantly clear.
In keeping with a web-based database, no courtroom listening to has been scheduled and no orders have but been issued.
John Carswell, president of Canso Funding Counsel, which helped finance NordStar’s $60-million acquisition of Torstar in 2020, didn’t reply to a request for remark.
In keeping with Rivett’s utility, NordStar is at present in breach of a debt settlement, and Rivett wished to promote among the firm’s actual property to pay it off. Bitove allegedly refused to dump the true property. The applying didn’t specify whether or not the debt settlement was with Canso or one other lender.
Rivett’s utility additionally mentioned Bitove objected to some cost-cutting measures which he allegedly initially agreed to.
“He refused and didn’t make the required adjustments with respect to pointless company overhead prices. He then started to object to the adjustments and demanded that the agreed-to adjustments be stopped, and he began to disclaim that the adjustments have been ever agreed to,” the applying mentioned.
In a written assertion despatched by means of a public relations agency, Bitove mentioned he was preventing to maintain the Star’s newsroom — together with these of different NordStar publications — robust.
“The popular playbook of some buyers is to chop prices to the bone, strip the product naked, and shrink newsrooms to extract short-term profit for shareholders,” mentioned Bitove. “The strategy favoured by these of us who imagine within the very important position of the media in a robust and vibrant society is to construct a product centred on the trusted journalism that readers demand. And to make use of that demand to construct a sustainable enterprise.”
Rivett didn’t reply to a request for remark.
The applying additionally requested the courtroom to maintain Torstar from firing some “senior and indispensable” workers.
Not one of the allegations within the utility have been confirmed in courtroom and in accordance with a web-based authorized database, no authorized response from Bitove has but been filed.
Bitove and Rivett got here collectively to purchase Torstar in 2020, in a deal price $60 million. They gained out over a competing $58-million bid from Canadian Trendy Media Holdings, a consortium together with expertise govt brothers Matthew and Tyler Proud, in addition to Neil Selfe, a finance trade veteran.
Earlier than teaming up with Bitove to purchase Torstar, Rivett was president of Fairfax Monetary. Bitove is a distinguished philanthropist, advertising govt, and member of the Bitove household, which helped convey the NBA to Toronto.
Along with publishing a number of every day newspapers, together with the Toronto Star, NordStar additionally controls quite a few on-line properties, together with NorthStar Bets, a web-based playing firm.