Weber tops new CanWest int’l division

Manitoba-based CanWest Global Communications has announced the creation of an international division to be headed by Charles Weber, former president and CEO of Lucasfilm Ltd.

CanWest Global topper Izzy Asper made the announcement at the company’s annual board meeting here yesterday.

Initiative will build on the firm’s recent acquisitions of New Zealand’s TV 3 and Aussie web Channel Ten.

Asper said Weber will be responsible for acquiring strategic international investments and the raising of additional capital that may be necessary for expansion.

Weber, who also held posts at Embassy Communications-Tandem/TAT Prods. and Management Co. Entertainment Group, will initially work from an L.A. office, also maintaining a Manitoba home. He believes CanWest will evolve as a “multimedia outlet that has outlets in all areas of the world.” Weber said talks are under way with parties in the U.K., Switzerland and Scandinavia.

Future ventures can be partially financed through CanWest Global 1992 profit gains that after “reducing our debt by just under $ C90 million ($ 76.5 million) , also leaves us comfortable capacity for further expansion,” per Asper.

For the fiscal year ended Aug. 31, 1992, CanWest Global reported operating profits of $ C65.1 million ($ 55.25 million), a 9.9% increase from the previous year. And the upward trend continued for the first quarter ended Nov. 30, 1992. Operating profits jumped by 103% vs. the same period in 1991.

Asper says “at the very least,”$ C30 million ($ 25.5 million) can be applied to future expansion.

On the home front, Asper says they will apply to set up TV stations in Alberta, which would give them coverage from the Onatrio/Quebec border to the West Coast.

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