Canwest to Sell Newspaper Chain to Godfrey's Group for C$1.1 Billion

Canwest Global Communications Corp. said it approved a bid for its newspaper chain from a group led by Paul Godfrey, president of the National Post, for C$1.1 billion ($1.1 billion).

Godfrey’s group is an ad hoc committee of holders of 9.25 percent senior subordinated notes issued by Canwest Limited Partnership, Canwest said in a statement today.

The bankruptcy court-appointed monitor and financial adviser found the group’s offer superior to the other bids, Canwest said in the statement. Other bidders included Torstar Corp., publisher of the Toronto Star newspaper.

The deal is expected to close by July 15, Canwest said, after bankruptcy court approval May 17. The deal would maintain all existing newspaper operations and existing full-time employees, according to the statement.

Canwest, based in Winnipeg, Manitoba, publishes 12 daily newspapers including the Vancouver Sun, Montreal Gazette and Ottawa Citizen. The company also publishes 45 community and free newspapers.

Godfrey, the former chief executive officer of Sun Media Inc., will be president and CEO of the new company, Canwest said.

To contact the reporter on this story: Mark Clothier in Southfield, Michigan, at mclothier@bloomberg.net

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