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Tuesday, March 20, 2007 

'Conrad Black Should Not Have Gone Public With His Company': TRUMP

Gordon Pitts has a great article in the March 20th Globe & Mail on the Conrad Black trial. In an interview with potential witness, Donald Trump, insights into the whole affair are offered:

"Donald Trump says not everyone has the right mindset to run a public company and Conrad Black is one who should have kept his company off the stock exchange.

"In retrospect, he probably shouldn't have gone public," Mr. Trump said yesterday, commenting on Lord Black's Chicago trial, in which Mr. Trump is on the list of possible witnesses.

The property tycoon said he couldn't think of any circumstances in which he might want to take his own company public.

"A public company is a different mindset. It's never easy for an individual entrepreneur who owns things because it is a whole different set of ideas," Mr. Trump said in a telephone interview from Los Angeles.

With the emergence of Sarbanes-Oxley legislation -- a 2002 U.S. law that tightened standards for all public company boards, management and public accounting firms in the aftermath of major corporate scandals -- "they make you sign documents that basically say every transaction made by everybody in your company is 100 per cent honest. If it isn't, you go to jail for the rest of your life," he said.

Mr. Trump said he could not comment on the Black case, but he was extremely curious about Canadians' opinions of Lord Black and the case, and asked a number of questions.

Mr. Trump said he might be called as a witness because he attended a "famous party" for Lord Black's wife, Barbara Amiel. But he said his closest contact with Lord Black came in 2004, when he bought out Hollinger International Inc.'s half-interest in the site of the Sun-Times newspaper in downtown Chicago.

"I know Conrad Black and I bought the Sun-Times site from them. The Sun-Times had always been known for owning the best piece of real estate in the city of Chicago."

He said he is building a 92-storey tower on the former newspaper site."


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