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Transcontinental says SaltWire Network in breach of contract after 2017 sale of media assets

The Guardian's editorial/opinion editor Bill McGuire retired Thursday, Jan. 10, 2019, after nearly 45 years in the industry and penning countless editorials.
Transcontinental is considering filing a countersuit against SaltWire Network, saying the company failed to fulfil its payment obligations and was in breach of its contract with Transcontinental. - 123RF Stock Photo

Transcontinental Inc. says it is considering filing a counter lawsuit in a legal battle related to the sale of its media assets in Atlantic Canada.

SaltWire Network announced Wednesday it had filed a multimillion-dollar lawsuit against Transcontinental related to the 2017 sale.

On Wednesday, a spokeswoman for Transcontinental said the company planned to defend itself and wouldn’t provide any further comment since the matter was before the courts.

The company issued a statement Thursday that said SaltWire failed to fulfil its payment obligations and was in breach of its contract with Transcontinental.

“As such, the corporation (Transcontinental) is considering initiating a counter-suit against SaltWire Network,” the statement said.

Among SaltWire’s claims are allegations Transcontinental overstated revenues the business would produce, hid facts regarding the condition of its assets and wasn’t forthcoming about several business practices.

"We intend to defend ourselves vigorously in court." — Francois Olivier, Transcontinental CEO

In Transcontinental’s statement, CEO Francois Olivier said the company hadn’t received the lawsuit yet and hadn’t had a chance to review it.

“We are confident that the sale of our media assets in Atlantic Canada was conducted based on fair, accurate and timely information. We intend to defend ourselves vigorously in court,” Olivier said.

The statement said Transcontinental is a reputable organization that has conducted more than 100 transactions since its founding.

“Our corporation has always been recognized for its integrity and for operating its business with the highest ethical standards and business practices,” Olivier said.

Transcontinental said in the statement it would not provide any further comment at this time.

SaltWire filed the statement of claim in Nova Scotia Supreme Court and Transcontinental had 15 days from the date of the filing to respond.

Ian Scott, SaltWire’s chief operating officer, said the company has attempted to resolve all issues with Transcontinental without resorting to the courts.

“And SaltWire has, in all instances, adhered to the purchase contract with Transcontinental,” Scott said.

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