Telegraph shareholders wave through Southam deal: Correction

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The Independent Online
Mr Conrad Black and Mr Anthony Rentoul

An Apology

An article by Jason Nisse published in our 14 April 1993 issue concerning the approval by shareholders of The Telegraph Plc's purchase of a Cdollars 129m ( pounds 70m) stake in the Canadian publisher, Southam Inc, incorrectly stated that the chairman of The Telegraph, Mr Conrad Black, had admitted that this purchase was in opposition to a clause in the prospectus issued to the public for last year's flotation of The Telegraph.

We accept without reservation that Mr Black had no reason to and has not at any time made such an admission and regret the false attribution of such admission to him. As we reported, the relevant clause in the prospectus, which provides for a geographical division of global publishing interests between The Telegraph and its majority shareholder, Hollinger Inc, was inserted at the request of the London Stock Exchange. We accept that the clause permitted The Telegraph's stake in Southam, that the exacting procedure had been observed, and that The Telegraph's stake in Southam was legitimate. There was therefore no foundation for the allegation in our headline (or caption) that the clause had been contravened.

We also wish to point out that Mr Anthony Rentoul, The Telegraph's secretary, did not state, as we reported, that 92 shareholders, with stakes over 20,000 had contacted The Telegraph with abstentions. We accept that Mr Rentoul said that of the 91 shareholders with stakes of over 20,000 who did not vote, not one had contacted The Telegraph to explain the failure to send in proxy cards.

We apologise to both Mr Black and Mr Rentoul for the embarrassment caused by our article.

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