Canwest misses payment

Canwest Global Communications announced
that its newspaper division subsidiary “has decided to not make
payments totalling approximately $10 million due under its senior
secured credit facility on May 29, 2009, pending completion of a
comprehensive recapitalization of the Limited Partnership.” (Wouldn’t
we all wish to decide not to make payments?)

What does this mean?

The missed payment is chump change compared to the division’s $1 billion in annual revenue, suggests a Globe and Mail analysis. But it could bog down talks for CanWest’s overall restructuring. The Globe speculated:

“It is possible that CanWest, which
had been trying to restructure its television and newspaper operations
as one package, might now need to break off the newspaper group and
negotiate a separate restructuring of that operation. That could make
the company’s restructuring efforts more complex, and potentially bog
down the talks with CanWest negotiating on two fronts.”

Does this increase the chance of breaking up Canwest’s enormous
influence in Canada’s mainstream media — which amounts to a
near-monopoly in some parts including Southwestern B.C.?