Shaw to buy Canwest television stations

Telecommunications firm Shaw Communications announced Friday it is buying some 20 Canadian television stations from beleaguered media titan Canwest Global Communications. The deal will strengthen local programming, “ensure the ongoing viability of the second largest private conventional television network in Canada, and sustain a dynamic and competitive television market,” chief executive Jim Shaw said in a statement. Analysts, however, opined that the deal is “slightly negative” for the buyer, from the perspective of shareholders. Shaw said it would buy a minimum 20 percent equity interest and 80 percent voting interest in a restructured Canwest. Its initial investment could exceed 20 percent depending on the number of Canwest creditors that elect cash rather than shares in the restructured Canwest, the company said. And it may opt to further increase its ownership in the future, it said. For now, the financial terms of the agreement would remain confidential until court approval is obtained. The acquisition still requires approval by the Ontario court overseeing Canwest’s restructuring, Canwest’s creditors and Canada’s regulator. Winnipeg-based Canwest Global’s television operations were put under court protection in October, after advertising revenues fell in a dour economy.

http://www.google.com/hostednews/afp/article/ALeqM5gS8oY-r6-N4ZCwbvWp9sl-mDlBcg

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