Canwest creditors back newspaper restructuring

Mon Jun 14, 2010 3:48pm EDT
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VANCOUVER (Reuters) - Creditors of the newspaper unit of Canwest Global Communications Corp have voted overwhelmingly in favor of an amended restructuring plan that will likely see the business emerge from bankruptcy protection next month, the company said on Monday.

"(The plan) was supported by 97.36 percent in number of registered voters that represent 99.45 percent of the total claims value in dollar terms," Canwest spokesman John Douglas said in an email.

The vote is one of the last steps that Canada's largest chain of newspapers must take ahead of emerging from court protection.

The newspaper unit, which includes the National Post and Vancouver Sun, is being bought for C$1.1 billion by bondholders led by Paul Godfrey, the president of the National Post.

The money will be used to repay about C$925 million in debt, owed mostly to banks. Under its new owners, the newspaper business will keep its existing operations, all its full-time and most of its part-time employees.

The group will seek court approval for the restructuring plan on June 18 in the province of Ontario. It expects the plan to be in place around July 14. The new company plans to list on the Toronto Stock Exchange.

(Reporting by Nicole Mordant; editing by Peter Galloway)

<p>A Canwest sign is seen outside an office building in Toronto, October 6, 2009. REUTERS/Mark Blinch</p>