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AAC takeover pushed back

Week needed to get debt financing in place

The C$2.3 billion ($2.2 billion) takeover of Alliance Atlantis Communications by CanWest Global Communications and Goldman Sachs Capital Partners is skedded to close Aug. 15, a week later than previously announced.

According to a jointly issued press release, an affiliate of Acquireco (the company created by CanWest and Goldman Sachs to facilitate the deal) needed an extra week to get debt financing in place for the $49.63 per share takeover. Alliance Atlantis is comprised of a broadcast division with 13 specialty channels, the controlling share in its motion picture distribution income trust and its 50% stake in the “CSI” franchise.

The companies have regulatory approval from the Canadian Radio-Television and Telecommunications Commission and the Canadian Competition Bureau to close the deal, but the broadcast division must remain in trust until a decision by the CRTC; a hearing is skedded for Sept. 5.

The exact nature of the partnership between CanWest and Goldman Sachs is expected to be revealed when the deal closes.

As is, brass have indicated only that CanWest gets the broadcast division, Goldman Sachs gets “CSI,” and the Motion Picture Distribution Income Trust will go to a Canadian-controlled affiliate of Goldman Sachs. The final division of the assets is expected to come in 2011, determined by an as-yet-undisclosed formula.

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