Canwest, lenders extend talks on borrowing

Wed Apr 8, 2009 1:08pm EDT
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TORONTO (Reuters) - The senior lenders of Canwest Global Communications Corp, Canada's largest media company, have agreed to extend talks until April 21 over certain borrowing conditions for its media unit, the company said on Tuesday.

Canwest, based in Winnipeg, Manitoba, had until Tuesday to cut a deal with its banks that would let the company stay in business while it works to shore up its finances.

"Canwest announced today that its subsidiary Canwest Media Inc and its senior lenders have agreed to extend the waiver of certain borrowing conditions until April 21, 2009," the company said in a statement.

"CMI continues to discuss with its senior lenders the terms under which the waiver might be extended for a longer period to allow CMI to pursue a recapitalization transaction."

The company has until April 14 to make a $30.4 million interest payment on its 8 percent senior subordinated notes. It has already missed that payment, which was due on March 15, once.

"During the two week period, senior lenders have agreed to provide additional access to credit availability," the company said. "Based on current cash flow projections, the company believes that it will have sufficient liquidity to continue to operate normally through the period."

In a separate announcement, the company said it completed its sale of holdings in Score Media Inc and had received gross proceeds of $6.6 million.

Canwest owns the Global television network and a stable of daily newspapers, including the National Post.

Analysts have said it is possible Canwest, with its debt load of about C$3.7 billion, may file for bankruptcy protection as the weak economy wreaks havoc on advertising revenue at its television stations and newspapers.   Continued...