CanWest Global Communications, Canada’s biggest media company, has evaded filing for bankruptcy protection yet again.
On Wednesday the Winnipeg-based company inked deals that will net C$175 million ($154 million) and allow it to continue operating.
CanWest has been negotiating with U.S. creditors for two months to solve the financial problems caused by its $3.5 billion debt.
Now some of its subordinated noteholders have agreed to buy $88 million worth of secured notes in two CanWest-owned companies, CanWest Media and CanWest Television Ltd. Partnership.
In addition, CIT Business Credit Canada has agreed to provide a senior secured revolving asset-based loan for $66 million. Both transactions are expected to close today. “These facilities are intended to provide CanWest with sufficient credit availability to operate its business in the ordinary course as it continues its work to effect a recapitalization transaction,” the Canuck broadcaster said in a statement.
CanWest now has until June 15 to reach a deal with existing noteholders on that recapitalization.
The news comes as CanWest executives head to Los Angeles for the L.A. Screenings to buy programming for next season.
The difficulties facing CanWest are the result of earlier acquisitions — including the purchase of rival broadcaster Alliance Atlantis — that left it with a mountain of debt.
CanWest also owns the Global TV network and a chain of newspapers plus a stake in Australia’s Network Ten.