Torstar Corporation ended weeks of speculation by announcing that it has placed a formal bid for the newspaper and digital assets of Canwest Limited Partnership. Financial details of the bid wer not disclosed.
Canwest LP, which includes the National Post, Montreal Gazette and 44 other newspapers, has been up for sale since January. The bidding deadline lapsed last Friday at midnight and it was initially unclear if Torstar submitted a bid due to questions surrounding its financial backer, Fairfax. If Torstar’s bid is accepted, it will become the largest newspaper publisher in the country.
Other bidders include Black Press, which is led by President David Black, who controls a chain of 70 newspapers on the West coast, and former Canwest CEO Leonard Asper. In July 2007, Black Press lost a $405-million bid for Osprey Media to Quebecor.
Canwest has also announced the sale of its over-the-air television assets to Shaw Communications of Calgary. The deal is said to be worth over $2 billion and includes paying $700 million to Goldman Sachs for its stake, which it acquired through the purchase of Alliance Atlantis in 2007.