UPDATE 3-Canwest approves C$1.1 bln bid from noteholders

* Canwest approves C$1.1 bln offer

* Bid from ad hoc committee of noteholders

* Plan will see new company go public

(Adds byline, recasts)

By Pav Jordan

TORONTO, May 10 (BestGrowthStock) – The newspaper empire of Canwest
Global Communications Corp (CGS.V: ), pummeled by the Internet
and recession, said on Monday it will be acquired by creditors
led by one of Canada’s leading media personalities.

The C$1.1 billion bid from members of an ad hoc committee
(AHC) comprised of holders of 9.25 percent senior subordinated
notes was led by Paul Godfrey, the current president of the
National Post and a former CEO of Quebecor’s (QBRa.TO: ) Sun
Media chain.

“The AHC Bid contemplates the acquisition of substantially
all of the financial and operating assets of the LP Entities
and the shares of National Post Inc for an effective purchase
price of approximately C$1.1 billion including C$950 million in
cash funding,” Canwest said in a statement.

“The proceeds from the AHC Bid will allow for a full
pay-out of the approximately $925 million debt owed by the LP
Entities to its senior secured lenders.”

Canwest, whose stable of newspapers include 46 community
and daily papers and the flagship National Post newspaper, said
the bid would keep its newspapers together and eventually see
them listed in an initial public offering.

The offer beat out a handful of other consortiums who had
vied for all or for parts of the chain, including the owners of
Canada’s largest daily newspaper, the Toronto Star.

Canwest won creditor protection for its newspaper group in
January as it crumpled under the weight of a debt load of
nearly C$4 billion.

Some of that debt was tied to the purchase of newspapers
from Hollinger International in 2000 for C$3.2 billion.

A number of consortiums expressed interest in acquiring the
newspapers, even after they were battered by recession and
competition from the Internet, both of which devastated

Among those who submitted bids was Torstar Corp (TSb.TO: ),
publisher of Canada’s biggest daily, the Toronto Star.

Canwest said on Monday the bid also provides unsecured
creditors with cash or shares on a pro rata basis up to 45
percent of the equity in the new company.

Godfrey is to be president and chief executive officer of
the new company. The deal is targeted to close on or before
July 15, 2010.

Stock Market Investing

($1=1.023 Canadian Dollar)
(Reporting by Ritsuko Ando in New York and Pav Jordan in
Toronto; Editing by Dhara Ranasinghe)

UPDATE 3-Canwest approves C$1.1 bln bid from noteholders