By Jon Robinson
CanWest Global Communications, operating under bankruptcy since October 2009, yesterday agreed to sell its newspapers assets for $1.1-billion to a group of bondholders led by National Post President and CEO, Paul Godfrey.
Godfrey’s bidding group holds 9.25 percent of senior subordinated notes in Canwest Limited Partnership (CLP), a publishing division controlling the newspaper assets, which is described as Canada’s largest newspaper chain (46 dailies and weeklies), including the National Post.
The court-appointed monitor of Canwest, FTI Consulting Canada, in consultation with the RBC Capital Markets, “determined that the bid by members of [Godfrey’s group] constituted a superior cash offer,” according to a company statement, yesterday. The purchase price of approximately $1.1 billion includes $950 million in cash funding. CLP owes senior secured lenders around $925 million.
Canwest is now advancing the bid for court approval on May 17, 2010, while targeting to close the deal on or before July 15, 2010.
Associated articles about the pending purchase:
Jennifer Wells, Toronto Star: CanWest deal all about local papers
Andrew Willis, The Globe: Who played CanWest right?
Jamie Sturgeon, Financial Post: Bondholders to buy Canwest newspaper chain
Susan Krashinsky, The Globe: With a salesman’s touch, Paul Godfrey claims CanWest
Theresa Tedesco, Financial Post: New role a ‘great privilege’