Canwest shares jump 12 percent in wake of report

Tue Aug 5, 2008 11:56am EDT
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TORONTO (Reuters) - The battered shares of Canwest Global Communications Corp CGS.TO jumped 12 percent on Tuesday, following a newspaper report over the weekend which said the company was considering options that could include going private with the help of major shareholder, Fairfax Financial Holdings FFH.TO.

Canwest, Canada's biggest media company, jumped 25 Canadian cents to C$2.25 on the Toronto Stock Exchange. The stock has lost considerable value since November's year-high of C$8.28 amid economic concerns and worries over Canwest's debt load.

Citing "people familiar with the situation," the Globe and Mail newspaper reported on Saturday that Canwest had pitched the idea of a go-private deal to Fairfax, which owns almost 19 percent of Canwest's shares. The paper said no deal was imminent and that a privatization may not materialize.

Canwest spokesman John Douglas declined to comment on Tuesday but characterized the report as "pure speculation."

Canwest owns the Global TV network, a national chain of newspapers and a stable of specialty TV stations.

($1=$1.04 Canadian)

(Reporting by Wojtek Dabrowski; Editing by Bernadette Baum)