Godfrey gets support to buy Canwest papers: report

Fri Oct 2, 2009 9:11am EDT
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(Reuters) - Paul Godfrey, chief executive of the National Post, the money-losing flagship daily newspaper of Canwest Global Communications Corp, has lined up financial support to buy the daily newspapers owned by Canwest, the Globe and Mail reported on its website late on Thursday.

Godfrey has financial backing from private equity firms willing to finance a management-led bid for the newspapers, the Globe said, citing sources.

The chain of Canwest dailies includes the Ottawa Citizen, Montreal Gazette, Calgary Herald, Vancouver Sun and The Province.

The newspapers will likely be put up for auction within the next two months and may fetch C$1 billion ($923.4 million), the Globe said.

Godfrey declined to comment to the Globe on his interest in the Canwest dailies.

Canwest, which is struggling under a debt load of about C$4 billion, said last month it would sell its stake in Australia's Network Ten television network for more than C$630 million.

Canwest could not be immediately reached for comment by Reuters.

(Reporting by Ajay Kamalakaran in Bangalore)

<p>The CanWest Global building is seen on Portage Avenue in Winnipeg, MB on November 14, 2008. REUTERS/Fred Greenslade</p>