CanWest Deal Reaps $133 Million for Hollinger

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By: E&P Staff

Hollinger International said Friday it received a cash infusion of $133.6 million from a complicated debt refinancing by CanWest Global Communications that allows the big Canadian newspaper chain to swap high-interest debt owed Hollinger for lower interest notes.

In effect, the Asper family-owned CanWest, publisher of The National Post in Toronto and the 15 Southam Newspaper dailies, exchanged senior notes due in 2010 and bearing an interest rate of 12.175% for a slightly higher amount of new debt to Hollinger International that will be due in 2012 and carry an interest rate of 8.375%.

The notes were part of the payment to Hollinger for its $2.7 billion cash and debt purchase of the Southam papers in November 2000.

Hollinger International, publisher of the Chicago Sun-Times and other Chicago-area papers, earlier this week reached agreement to sell The Jerusalem Post to an Israeli media company. CanWest then agreed to buy a half-interest in the newspaper. Hollinger International has been selling off its assets while pursuing a lawsuit accusing former Chairman Conrad Black and other executives of “looting” the company of $400 million through improper fees, insider deals and other payments.

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