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: Quote).

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)