Ravelston Corporation

Ravelston Corporation Limited was a Canadian holding company that was largely controlled by Conrad Black and business partner David Radler. At one time, it held a majority stake in Hollinger Inc., once one of the largest media corporations in the world. The company was placed into receivership in 2005 and went bankrupt in 2008.[1]


Ravelston was founded by a group of businessmen including Bud McDougald, Max Meighen and Conrad Black's father George Montegu Black. The company was a holding company for Argus Corporation.[2] In 1978, Conrad Black took control with his brother of Ravelston after his father's death.[3] Black later transformed Ravelston into a holding company which was the head of his global media empire in the 1980s and 1990s.[1] The company was mostly owned by Black, who held a 67% share to Radler's 14%.[4]

At one time, Ravelston controlled 78% of Hollinger Inc.'s stock with Black as CEO and Chairman and Radler as President. Ravelston held shares in Conrad Black's holding companies, such as Hollinger International, now known as Sun-Times Media Group. The Toronto-based private company had owned the British Daily Telegraph and Toronto's National Post newspapers. These papers were later sold, mostly to Canwest Global.


As a result of Black's and Radler's legal problems involving allegedly unauthorized 'non-compete' payments in the sale of Hollinger International newspapers, Ravelston entered into receivership in summer 2005. On April 20, 2005, Black and Radler resigned from Ravelston to facilitate a filing for bankruptcy protection.[citation needed] Black and four other executive were later convicted of fraud over the diversion of $6 million from Hollinger International.[1] Ravelson was also charged with fraud by the US Attorney's office in Chicago. In 2005, Ravelston was placed in the hands of court-appointed receiver RSM Richter. Richter negotiated a settlement of the charges on the company's behalf in 2007.[1] In December 2008, the company went bankrupt.[1]


  1. Walde, Paul (4 December 2008). "Lights out for Black's once-mighty Ravelston". The Globe and Mail. Retrieved 21 October 2015.
  2. Newman, Peter C. (2014-04-08). The Canadian Establishment. McClelland & Stewart. ISBN 9781551996905.
  3. Black, Conrad (2011-08-31). A Matter of Principle. McClelland & Stewart. ISBN 9781551993164.
  4. Siklos, Richard (2007-05-13). "Like a Marriage That Ended Up in Court". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2015-10-21.