Bitove buys Torstar
The Canadian Press – 24 November 2022 / at 11.16 | History: 398116
Photo: The Canadian Press
The Toronto Star building is shown in Toronto on June 8, 2016. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Eduardo Lima
Toronto Star publisher Jordan Bitove will take sole control of the paper’s parent company as part of an arbitration agreement with co-owner Paul Rivett, according to media reports citing unnamed sources, bringing a tense dispute between the former partners to an end.
Torstar Corp. also owns the Metroland newspaper group and local newspapers, including the Hamilton Spectator.
Bitove will also retain a significant stake in VerticalScope Holdings Inc., a technology company that owns 1,200 specialty websites.
The settlement comes two months after Bitove’s business partner Paul Rivett filed an application in Ontario Superior Court seeking a court order to dissolve NordStar Capital Inc., which bought Torstar in 2020 for $60 million.
In the court filing, Rivett cited “irreparable” damage to his relationship with Bitove and said the pair could no longer work together.
After the filing became public, the couple agreed to move their legal dispute to mediation-arbitration.
Rivett claimed that Bitove changed his mind about previously agreed upon plans, failed to provide a budget to the Toronto Star, ignored proper corporate governance and neglected his responsibilities.
Rivett also asked the court to appoint PricewaterhouseCoopers to administer an asset sale to resolve the “impasse” between the two men.
The two men were equal partners in NordStar, which also owns the online news site iPolitics and sportsbook NorthStar Gaming Inc. NordStar also has investments in The Canadian Press and Blue Ant Media Inc and is a shareholder in VerticalScope Inc.
Before teaming up with Bitove, which was part of the ownership consortium that built the SkyDome, now the Rogers Center, Rivett was a former president at Fairfax Financial.