Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Two new serious bidders for CanWest

The Globe and Mail says that sources close to the situation say two leading consortiums have been formed to buy CanWest’s chain of 46 newspapers in a deal that could see the winner spend as much as $1-billion.

Paul Godfrey, the president of CanWest’s National Post newspaper and former chief executive officer of the Sun Media chain, is leading one consortium. Sources say he has joined with Vancouver-based phone directory company CanPages Inc., which is backed by U.S. private equity firm Hicks Muse Tate & Furst.

The group also includes at least six top CanWest executives willing to run the operation if the bid is successful. “If you take the list of 10 top executives … at least six or seven of them are there,” said one source familiar with the proposal. CanWest chief executive officer Leonard Asper is not said to be part of the plan.

However, Mr. Godfrey’s consortium will face stiff competition from a rival group that is said to include Vancouver-based Glacier Media Inc., a community newspaper business run by former investment banker Jon Kennedy. Glacier has stakes in 120 community papers and covets CanWest’s community publica

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