Canwest Global Communications Corp. Looks to Unload Canadian Newspapers

By: Etan Vlessing/The Hollywood Reporter After selling down its stake in Australian broadcaster Network Ten, debt-laden Canwest Global Communications Corp. has turned to unloading its Canadian newspaper division.

Paul Godfrey, a former CEO of the Toronto Blue Jays pro baseball club and now CEO of the National Post newspaper, has lined up buy out funds to acquire Canwest Global?s daily newspapers nationwide for around CAN$1
billion, the Globe and Mail newspaper reported Friday.

The possible sell off comes as Canwest Global continues crunch talks with
U.S. bond-holders and senior lenders to renegotiate its debt and stave off
bankruptcy protection.

As part of those creditor talks expected to culminate with a debt-for-equity swap, Canwest Global continues to sell assets to pay immediate debt obligations and strengthen its balance sheet.

Canwest Global was not available for comment at press time.

Godfrey?s private equity backers aren?t the only ones eyeing Canadian media assets of late.

Toronto-based buyout specialists Onex Corp., which sold a big chunk of
Canadian exhibition giant Cineplex Galaxy Income Fund last spring, is back on the acquisition trail with a planned IPO for a distressed-debt fund.

Onex Corp. CEO Gerry Schwartz, who has a $4 billion war-chest, earlier
told his annual shareholders meeting on September 25 that the private equity player was eyeing corporate carve-outs where a parent company looks to sell a key division.

Also this week, indie producer E1 Entertainment said it will raise
$910,000 in additional share capital for possible acquisitions.

-- Nielsen Business Media


No comments on this item Please log in to comment by clicking here