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Canwest Proposes June 10 Creditors Vote on Exit Plan

Canwest Global Communications Corp.’s newspaper division plans to hold a creditors’ vote on its plan to exit bankruptcy on June 10, according to court documents.

The exit plan includes the sale of the newspapers to a group of bondholders led by Canadian media executive Paul Godfrey, who had agreed on May 10 to buy the assets for C$1.1 billion ($1.1 billion).

Godfrey and the bondholders, known as the ad hoc committee, or AHC, beat out two other bidders for the newspapers, Douglas Lamb, a senior employee at Canwest Publishing, said in court documents. Torstar Corp., publisher of the Toronto Star, said the winning bid was more than it was prepared to pay. Lamb didn’t name the other bidders.

“The LP entities are firmly of the view that the AHC transaction represents the best available outcome for the business,” Lamb said.

Canwest, based in Winnipeg, Manitoba, operates Canada’s biggest newspaper chain with 12 dailies including the Vancouver Sun, Montreal Gazette and Ottawa Citizen. The company also publishes 45 community and free newspapers as well as the National Post.

The company is scheduled to appear in an Ontario court May 17 to seek a judge’s approval for its proposed creditors’ vote, which is to be held in Toronto.

The case is In the Matter of a Plan of Compromise or Arrangement of Canwest Publishing Inc., CV-10-8533, Ontario Superior Court of Justice (Toronto).

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