Star to acquire Nova Scotia call centre business

Dec 22, 2003

TRURO - The Toronto Star announced today, Dec. 22, that it will purchase HEBB TeleSales and Marketing, a call centre operation in Truro.

The Toronto Star will consolidate its outbound circulation calls, such as subscription acquisition, payment/credit and outbound customer service, with the call centre's other services. The business will be renamed Atlantic Call Centres (ACC), a division
of Toronto Star Newspapers Ltd.

HEBB has successfully managed a portion of the Star's contact centre operations since October 2001. "This initiative will enable us to better manage this portion of our business," said Sandy MacLeod, vice-president, circulation, the Toronto Star.

"HEBB has well-trained, experienced customer service
representatives, low staff turnover and highly competitive rates. Their performance thus far has been stellar and we know it will only get better."

Nova Scotia Business Inc. has agreed to a payroll rebate for ACC to support the Truro operation. The company is eligible for a maximum of $1.06 million over four years, provided ACC creates and maintains 225 new jobs during that period.

"This announcement is a recognition of the strength and capability of the Truro workforce, and confirms that Nova Scotia can compete favourably with other jurisdictions in North America," said Economic Development Minister Ernest Fage. "This development is another indication that the province continues to
grow based on its strengths."

"This is an exciting time for HEBB Marketing," said owner Carol Hebb. "Our experience with the Star over the last few years has always been positive and the opportunity to be involved in this new call centre is a good fit for us."

"We're pleased that we've been able to attract this new investment into Truro," said Stephen Lund, president and CEO of Nova Scotia Business Inc. "The quality of our workforce is second-to-none, and we continue to use that to our advantage."

To accommodate the increased Toronto Star business, ACC has begun a process to recruit, hire and train a number of additional customer service representatives from the Truro area, creating stable, skilled job opportunities for local residents. ACC will retain its original client base, in addition to the Toronto Star business.