Fairfax increases stake in Torstar with $11.8 million private stock deal

TORONTO _ Fairfax Financial Holdings Ltd. (TSX:FFH) has paid nearly $11.8 million to increase its holding of Torstar Corp.’s non-voting shares to 40.6 per cent.

The Toronto-based financial company now owns about 28.9 million class B shares of Torstar (TSX:TS.B), owner of the Toronto Star, the Metroland group of newspapers and other digital and print media businesses.

Fairfax says it paid $1.25 each for the 9.4 million class B shares. The shares closed Thursday at $1.30 on the Toronto Stock Exchange, but Fairfax didn’t say when its shares were acquired through a private agreement.

Fairfax says it acquired the class B shares for investment purposes but, in future, it may discuss transactions with management or the company’s board of directors.

The company has gradually increased its stake over the recent years. Prior to the most recent transaction, it owned 27.3 per cent of the media company’s non-voting shares.

Fairfax is a holding company that’s primarily invested in insurance businesses. However, it has also made major investments in other Canadian companies including BlackBerry Ltd., International Forest Products, and Cara Operations.