BusinessCompany NewsKPMG to assess Hollinger repayments

KPMG to assess Hollinger repayments

Hollinger International has asked its auditor KPMG to assess the proper accounting treatment of repayments to the group to be made next year by board directors including Daily Telegraph proprietor Conrad Black.

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Lord Black, until Monday, chief executive of Hollinger, along with other directors, received non-competition payments totalling £19m. According to a statement by Hollinger, the payments had not been approved by the group’s board or audit committee and had not been properly disclosed to investors.

David Radler, Hollinger’s chief operating officer and Mark Kipnis, vice president and corporate counsel, have agreed to pay back the unauthorised sums by 1 June 2004 along with Lord Black. Radler and Kipnis have also stood down.

Hollinger’s audit committee and ‘special committee’ have determined that $32.15m in unauthorised ‘non-competition payments’ were made during 1999 to 2001.

Lord Black will retire as Hollinger CEO, but continues to act as non-executive chairman of the group as well as chairman of The Telegraph Group.

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