updated 10/29/2004 6:18:19 PM ET 2004-10-29T22:18:19

Conrad Black, the embattled press baron, said Friday he would give up his posts as CEO and chairman of Hollinger Inc., a Canadian holding company, to ease his plan to take the company private.

Even if the deal goes through, however, Black would still remain the controlling shareholder of Hollinger International Inc., a Chicago-based newspaper publisher that wants to recover some $400 million that the company says was improperly diverted to Black and his associates.

Black would also retain voting control of Hollinger International. The proposed privatization of Hollinger Inc. — Hollinger International's Toronto-based parent company — would make Hollinger Inc. a wholly-owned subsidiary of Ravelston Corp., a private company that Black also controls.

Black's decision to leave Hollinger Inc. came as Catalyst Fund General Partner I Inc., a recent investor in Hollinger Inc., sought to have him and several others removed by an Ontario judge.

Black has already been ousted as chairman and chief executive at Hollinger International, after an internal investigation found that he and others looted the company of hundreds of millions of dollars.

If Black succeeds in taking Hollinger Inc. private, it would be subject to fewer regulatory requirements, such as publishing quarterly financial results and keeping independent directors on its board.

Black faces court cases and securities commissions investigations in Canada and the United States stemming from the Hollinger accounting controversy.

He has denied misappropriating money and has argued publicly and in court that independent directors of Hollinger International approved the disputed transactions.

Hollinger Inc.'s main asset is an 18 percent equity interest and 68 percent voting power in Hollinger International, which owns the Chicago Sun-Times and The Jerusalem Post but recently sold The Daily Telegraph of London for about $1.2 billion.

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