CHICAGO, August 27 /CNW/ - Sun-Times Media Group, Inc. (NYSE: SVN) today
offered additional information today on its short-term investment portfolio.
The Company issued a press release on Friday, August 24, 2007, on its
short-term investment portfolio in Canada. The company received a number of
calls and questions on the release from investors requesting clarification.
All dollar amounts mentioned in this press release are U.S. dollar amounts.
The situation in the Canadian asset-backed commercial paper market is
evolving. A number of commercial paper issuers have not repaid amounts owed on
maturity due to a disruption in the market. While the large banks in Canada
have generally committed to provide back-up funding for the commercial paper
trusts they sponsor, a number of third-party sponsored trusts are suffering
from a liquidity problem.
An agreement among a consortium of banks, asset providers and major
investors in the Canadian asset-backed commercial paper market is being
negotiated to convert the third-party sponsored asset-backed commercial paper
(which is not being redeemed on maturity) into medium-term asset-backed notes.
The structure, pricing and timing of these notes have not been determined, but
the general expectation is that they will be in place later this year. Further
information on the proposed "long-term" solution is available at:
While there can be no assurance that this transition will be completed or
that the principal of the investments will be protected, there is no
expectation at this time that there will be a major capital loss. Our advisors
and a number of bankers and individuals close to the market believe that the
market issues are related to liquidity, rather than asset quality, and that
investors are facing an extension of timing rather than a loss of capital.
As of Friday, August 24, 2007, Sun-Times Media Group had a total of $95
million invested in Canadian asset-backed commercial paper trusts, all of
which have the Canadian rating agency's (DBRS) top rating of R1 High
(equivalent to a U.S. rating of A1/P1) and have no reported exposure to
sub-prime mortgages. Of this amount, $36 million is invested with trusts
sponsored by CIBC. On August 21, 2007, CIBC announced that it will continue to
provide liquidity to the trusts it sponsors. We therefore expect this $36
million to be redeemed on maturity, absent a major change in government or
The remaining $59 million is invested in third-party sponsored trusts.
Ironstone Trust ($28 million) and Planet Trust ($20 million) did not redeem on
maturity last week. Lafayette Structured Credit Trust ($11 million) matures on
August 28, 2007. All previous Lafayette maturities have been redeemed, but we
have not received any direct assurances that our investment will be redeemed
Sun-Times Media Group has $25 million on deposit with CIBC from last
week's maturities that were redeemed, and also has $65 million in short-term
U.S. investments, consisting of $45 million of AAA-rated money market mutual
funds and $20 million of A1/P1 rated commercial paper. We expect these funds
to be available whenever necessary.
Sun-Times Media Group believes that it is managing its cash prudently and
fully recognizes the importance of protecting its cash to the long-term
survival and health of the company. While there can be no assurances that the
Company will fully recover its principal from its Canadian investments, the
Company believes at this time that its risk is primarily one of timing rather
than one of capital loss. The Company believes that the potential delay in
recovering funds from its Canadian investments should not impact its liquidity
The company will continue to monitor closely the Canadian asset-backed
commercial paper market and evaluate our options with the trusts in which our
cash is invested. Should conditions or our options change, the company will
keep its shareholders apprised. Our intention is to transfer the majority of
the Canadian excess cash to the U.S. in a cost-efficient and tax-efficient
manner as it becomes available for transfer.
About Sun-Times Media Group
Sun-Times Media Group, Inc. is dedicated to being the premier source of
local news and information for the greater Chicago area. Its media properties
include the Chicago Sun-Times and Suntimes.com as well as newspapers and Web
sites serving more than 200 communities across Chicago. Further information
can be found at http://www.thesuntimesgroup.com.
Cautionary Statement on Forward-Looking Statements
Certain statements made in this release are "forward-looking statements"
within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995
(the "Act"). Forward-looking statements include, without limitation, any
statement that may predict, forecast, indicate or imply future results,
performance or achievements, and may contain the words "believe,"
"anticipate," "expect," "estimate," "project," "will be," "will continue,"
"will likely result" or similar words or phrases. Forward-looking statements
involve risks and uncertainties, which may cause actual results to differ
materially from the forward-looking statements. The risks and uncertainties
are detailed from time to time in reports filed by Sun-Times Media Group with
the Securities and Exchange Commission, including in its Forms 10-K and 10-Q.
New risk factors emerge from time to time and it is not possible for
management to predict all such risk factors, nor can it assess the impact of
all such risk factors on the Company's business or the extent to which any
factor, or combination of factors, may cause actual results to differ
materially from those contained in any forward-looking statements. Given these
risks and uncertainties, investors should not place undue reliance on
forward-looking statements as a prediction of actual results.
For further information:
For further information: Sun-Times Media Group, Inc. Tammy Chase,
312-321-3230 Director of Investor Relations email@example.com