Canwest says gets 2-week extension from lenders

Wed Apr 22, 2009 9:53am EDT
 
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TORONTO (Reuters) - Canwest Global Communications Corp, Canada's largest media company, announced yet another extension to lender talks on Wednesday as it fights a massive downturn in the advertising market.

The company said in a statement that senior lenders have agreed to extend the waiver of certain borrowing conditions until May 5.

Canwest said an ad hoc committee of noteholders who collectively hold about 70 percent of its 8 percent outstanding notes have also agreed not to demand payment until May 5.

During the 2-week period, Winnipeg, Manitoba-based Canwest said subsidiary Canwest Media Inc's senior lenders have agreed to provide the company with additional access to credit.

Canwest said it is continuing talks with its senior lenders and representatives of the ad hoc committee.

The company's previous extension had expired on April 21.

The recession continues to severely depress the advertising market, which is the lifeblood of Canwest's stable of newspapers and television stations. It has also dampened the appetites of potential buyers of Canwest's assets.

Canwest is controlled by the Asper family of Winnipeg. In November, the firm cut 560 jobs at its newspapers and television stations to slash costs and cope with the advertising slowdown.

(Reporting by Frank Pingue; Editing by Jeffrey Hodgson)

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