"Canwest reached a deal with a key group of lenders - mainly U.S. and foreign distressed funds that own most of the company's bonds - which will give them control of most of the restructured media company. Current shareholders would own just 2.3 per cent of the shares of the new Canwest, effectively wiping out most of their value."The filing covers Global TV and the National Post but thus far not Canwest LP - Canwest's major daily newspapers across Canada - or its 15 money-making tv specialty channels whose profit rose 41% to $53-million in the most recent quarter over last year.
In January 2007, Goldman Sachs - this Goldman Sachs - bankrolled 64% of Leonard Asper's purchase of of 13 Alliance Atlantis specialty TV channels :
"a level far above Canadian foreign media ownership limits. However the CRTC approved the deal after the partners persuaded it that Canwest - not its giant Wall Street financial partner - would have effective operating control of the TV channels."On the other hand, as the G&M Investor blog Streetwise reported yesterday (italics mine):
So, CRTC, you still good with this?
"Financiers working with Goldman said that over the past year, the investment bank put forward programming ideas for the TV networks, and offered strategic advice on restructuring, but was ignored by CanWest management and its creditors.
One concept that’s been tossed around, but couldn’t move forward until CanWest recapitalization was set, would see Goldman Sachs provide programming and financial support to the conventional television network as part of a larger deal that reworks the entire ownership structure to more closely align all the TV holdings.
There are three hedge funds driving the CanWest restructuring, and two of them are U.S. money managers: GoldenTree Asset Management, Beach Point Capital Management, along with Toronto-based West Face Capital Inc. ... These funds are also Goldman Sachs clients."
Goldman Sachs was not supposed to interfere with the programmimg of the Food Network but now expects to "provide programming and financial support" to local TV news stations?
More complications : The National Post - which never misses a chance to slag the CBC - and the CBC are now sharing content :
"The Post [will] republish CBC sports stories in the online National Post and sometimes in the newspaper. The CBC will run daily financial stories and podcasts from the Financial Post in cbc.ca’s Money section."Translation : the publicly funded CBC will move further right as promised to run corporate news daily, while the privately owned Natty Post will now be partly funded by our tax dollars.
And those remaining 12 national and 26 community Canwest papers?
Paul Godfrey, CEO of the National Post, says he has found backers for a buyout of them.
Who will own what we think now?