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Canwest Global files for creditor protection

Canwest Global Communications announced on its website this morning that it is seeking creditor protection.

The proposed recapitalization transaction is supported by members of the Ad Hoc Committee representing over 70% of the 8% senior subordinated notes issued by CMI[Canwest Media Inc.] and represents the culmination of arm’s length discussions between the CMI Entities and the Ad Hoc Committee.

A Support Agreement and Recapitalization Term Sheet, which contains the summary terms and conditions of the proposed recapitalization of the CMI Entities, has been executed by CMI Entities and the Ad Hoc Committee (the “Recapitalization Agreement”). The recapitalization transaction will ensure that a recapitalized CMI will be a stronger industry competitor with a renewed financial outlook.

The release goes on to say that the Canwest Board has agreed to allow a number of Canwest business units to file for bankruptcy. They include Canwest, CMI, Global Television, MovieTime, Fox Sports, and the National Post Company.

In the release, Leonard Asper is quoted as saying: “Throughout this process, all our operations will continue uninterrupted including a strong programming lineup on Global and our specialty channels. Our business operations remain strong and our stable of media brands continue to lead their markets.”

Reports by Reuters and the Globe and Mail carry more details, as do the Vancouver Sun and the National Post.

Crawford Kilian is a contributing editor of The Tyee.

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