Acquisition will help Torstar expand political coverage for digital audiences
TORONTO, Sept. 20, 2018 /CNW/ - Torstar Corporation announced today it has, through one of its subsidiaries, signed an agreement to purchase assets of iPolitics Inc., a leading Ottawa-based digital political news outlet.
The transaction is subject to the satisfaction or waiver of customary closing conditions, including the receipt of certain consents, and is expected to close on or about October 1, 2018.
Following closing, Torstar daily newspapers and websites across the country will soon begin publishing articles from iPolitics, a non-partisan media organization that provides its subscribers with breaking news and in-depth policy analysis of federal and provincial politics, regulatory affairs and key industries.
"We are pleased to announce a transaction to acquire iPolitics, which has a proven record of providing extensive online coverage of federal and provincial politics and government policies across Canada," said John Boynton, President and Chief Executive Officer of Torstar Corporation and Publisher of the Toronto Star. "It's considered an invaluable information source by many of Canada's top business leaders, elected politicians, government officials, public policy influencers and decision-makers."
Launched in 2010 by Founder and Editor James Baxter, iPolitics Inc. is a digital media company that serves its subscribers through a network of digital and social media sites, providing daily political news and industry briefs, a quarterly magazine, policy-oriented podcasts and specialized parliamentary monitoring services.
"This acquisition will complement our award-winning political coverage by the Toronto Star's Ottawa bureau, offering our customers across Torstar an exclusive online and print package unmatched by other news outlets," Boynton said. "At the same time, Torstar is committed to serving existing iPolitics subscribers and to enhancing current product offerings on iPolitics.ca."
The Toronto Star and iPolitics will retain separate news bureaus in Ottawa, headed respectively by a separate bureau chief and a separate editor. The Toronto Star's bureau chief is Susan Delacourt, an award-winning journalist who has covered politics in Ottawa since the late 1980s.
Among the major policy areas covered by iPolitics are the economy, tax reform, trade negotiations, defence spending, the federal public service, veteran's affairs, energy, agriculture, cannabis and more.
iPolitics' highly-focused political and government policy content sites provide clients with attractive platforms to reach highly-engaged audiences through targeted policy-oriented and government procurement marketing campaigns.
Torstar already operates QP Briefing, a subscription-based digital and mobile news source covering political and legislative news at the Ontario provincial level.
"We are excited to offer expanded coverage of political news from expert policy reporters in Ottawa to our customers across Canada," Boynton said. "This unique opportunity will allow us to provide critical in-depth policy coverage from iPolitics along with the highly-recognized reporting and opinion columns from the Toronto Star's Ottawa team."
"iPolitics was born out of a time of unprecedented upheaval in both the news business and within our democratic institutions," Baxter said. "From our modest beginnings to now, we have been fortunate to be a home for some of the best young, digital-native journalists who have cut their teeth on the biggest issues facing our world. By teaming with the Toronto Star and Torstar's other outlets, the iPolitics team will be able to reach more Canadians and work within an organization that has principles of public-service journalism at its core."
About Torstar Corporation Torstar Corporation is a broadly based media company listed on the Toronto Stock Exchange (TS.B). Its businesses include the Toronto Star, Canada's largest daily newspaper, six regional daily newspapers in Ontario including The Hamilton Spectator; English-language StarMetro newspapers in several Canadian cities; more than 80 weekly community newspapers in Ontario; flyer distribution services; and digital properties including thestar.com, wheels.ca, save.ca, toronto.com and a number of regional online sites and eyeReturn Marketing. Torstar also holds a majority interest in VerticalScope, a North American vertically-focused digital media company.
Forward-looking statements Certain statements in this press release and in Torstar's oral and written public communications may constitute forward-looking statements that reflect management's expectations as of the date of this press release. Generally, these forward-looking statements can be identified by the use of forward-looking terminology such as "anticipate", "believe", "plan", "forecast", "expect", "estimate", "intend", "would", "could", "if", "may" and similar expressions.
This press release contains, among others, forward-looking statements about the proposed acquisition of the assets of iPolitics Inc., including, among others, forward-looking statements about management's expectations regarding the expected timing and benefits of the transaction, and the satisfaction of closing conditions. All such statements are made pursuant to the "safe harbour" provisions of applicable Canadian securities legislation. These statements reflect current expectations of management regarding future events and performance, and speak only as of the date of this press release. In addition, forward-looking statements are provided for the purpose of providing information about management's current expectations and plans relating to the future. Readers are cautioned that reliance on such information may not be appropriate for other purposes.
By their very nature, forward-looking statements require management to make assumptions and are subject to inherent risks and uncertainties. There is a significant risk that predictions, forecasts, conclusions or projections will not prove to be accurate, that management's assumptions may not be accurate and that actual results, performance or achievements may differ significantly from such predictions, forecasts, conclusions or projections expressed or implied by such forward-looking statements. We caution readers not to place undue reliance on the forward-looking statements in this press release as a number of factors could cause actual future results, conditions, actions or events to differ materially from the targets, outlooks, expectations, goals, estimates or intentions expressed in the forward-looking statements.
These factors include, but are not limited to: the ultimate outcome of the transaction, including the risk that the transaction may not close, the ability to obtain consents on a timely basis and general economic conditions in the principal markets in which Torstar operates. We caution that the foregoing list is not exhaustive of all possible factors, as other factors could adversely affect our results.
In addition, a number of assumptions, including those assumptions specifically identified throughout this press release, were applied in making the forward-looking statements set forth in this press release. Some of the key assumptions include, without limitation, expected benefits from the transaction. There is a risk that some or all of these assumptions may prove to be incorrect
When relying on our forward-looking statements to make decisions with respect to Torstar and its securities, investors and others should carefully consider the foregoing factors and other uncertainties and potential events. Torstar does not intend, and disclaims any obligation, to update any forward-looking statements, whether written or oral, or whether as a result of new information or otherwise, except as may be required by law.
For more information, please see the discussion of risks affecting Torstar and its businesses in Torstar's Management's Discussion & Analysis for the year ended December 31, 2017 and the periods ended March 31, 2018 and July 31, 2018, each of which has been filed on www.sedar.com and is available on Torstar's corporate website www.torstar.com.
SOURCE Torstar Corporation
For further information: Bob Hepburn, Director, Communications, Torstar Corporation, 416-869-4947, [email protected]