Nova Scotia

Transcontinental defends its sale of Atlantic Canada media assets

Montreal-based Transcontinental Inc. says its sale of media assets to SaltWire Network, which owns 35 newspapers in Atlantic Canada, was 'conducted based on fair, accurate and timely information.'

Transcontinental says it's considering a countersuit against SaltWire Network

The Cape Breton Post is one of the newspapers Transcontinental sold to SaltWire in 2017. (CBC News)

Montreal-based Transcontinental Inc. is defending its handling of the sale of its East Coast media assets to SaltWire Network, and says it's considering a countersuit against Atlantic Canada's largest media company.

Transcontinental says the 2017 sale to SaltWire was "conducted based on fair, accurate and timely information."

SaltWire, which owns 35 newspapers in Atlantic Canada, including the Chronicle Herald in Halifax, has launched a lawsuit accusing Transcontinental of overstating its printing and distribution business and misrepresenting revenue streams of the acquired assets.

The lawsuit filed Wednesday in Nova Scotia Supreme Court claims Transcontinental substantially overstated revenues, hid material facts about the condition of the assets and was not forthcoming about a number of questionable business practices.

Alleged payment problems

But Transcontinental said Thursday it's a reputable organization with the highest ethical practices, and added it is considering a countersuit because SaltWire has "failed to fulfil its payment obligations and is in breach of contract."

SaltWire chief operating officer Ian Scott said Thursday the company "has, in all instances, adhered to the purchase contract with Transcontinental."

He said the company had been unsuccessful in its attempts to reach a settlement with Transcontinental that avoids the courts.

SaltWire is seeking compensation for general and special damages, as well as aggravated and punitive damages, interest and costs.

None of the allegations have been proven in court.

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