CanWest tubthumps Kiwi IPO

New company will be listed on stock exchange July 29

AUCKLAND — CanWest Global Communications, Canada’s largest media firm, expects to raise $NZ102 million to $NZ136 million ($65 million to $87 million) through an initial public offering for 30% of its Kiwi media investments — two TV networks and half the country’s radio stations.

Chief operating officer Tom Strike went on a whistle-stop tour of New Zealand this week to launch the prospectus for 68 million shares in its Kiwi investments, renamed CanWest Mediaworks.

The new company will be listed on the New Zealand Stock exchange July 29.

Strike declined to predict future policy and said CanWest was committed to its New Zealand operation. But there is no firm commitment beyond the 12 months required under stock exchange regulations.

CanWest will use the proceeds to cut its $2.3 billion debt, amassed when it bought 140 newspapers from Hollinger in 2000.

With the media industry having an extended run of record demand for ad space, local brokers are upbeat about the float, launched Wednesday.

The offer, with shares estimated at $1.12, was oversubscribed by around 40%. The forecast dividend yield is 6.1 to 6.7% and the offer closes July 21.

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