Bankrupt Canwest gets bail out

Shaw will take over Canada's second largest TV net

TORONTO — Shaw Communications will buy a controlling stake in Canwest Global Communications, helping Canada’s second largest TV network and its specialty channels emerge from bankruptcy protection.

The financial terms of the deal, announced Friday, were not disclosed.

Pact will see Calgary-based cable and satellite provider Shaw acquire an equity stake of at least 20% and an 80% voting interest in CanWest’s restructured TV biz, following court, creditor and regulatory approval of the plan.

Winnipeg-based Canwest, Canada’s biggest media company, filed for protection from creditors in October after missing interest payments on its C$4billion ($3.8 billion) debt. Its newspaper division, led by The National Post, filed for protection last month and is not part of Shaw’s plan.

Canwest’s restructuring, taking place under existing management, is expected to conclude this summer. The company will emerge as a separate entity with its own board, as opposed to merging with Shaw.

The move will boost Shaw into a more competitive position against rivals Rogers Communications and Quebecor, both owners of vast media, broadband, cable, phone and media assets in Canada.

“We are excited about the investment and gaining effective control of one of the premier broadcasters and owners of content in the Canadian broadcasting industry at a reasonable valuation,” Shaw CEO Jim Shaw said in a release.

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