Canwest sale “heats up”, Globe reports

The sale of Canwest Global Communications Corp. “will likely be completed by April,” The Globe and Mail reports, as two leading consortiums are preparing to make bids.

According to sources not named by the Globe, one group, led by current president of the chain’s National Post newspaper Paul Godfrey, includes “at least six top Canwest executives” as well as Vancouver-based CanPages Inc.

The second group is said to include another Vancouver-based company, Glacier Media Inc., which is a community newspaper business run by Jon Kennedy.

Only bids for the entire chain will be considered. In January, a group led by former Senator and a founder of Citytv, Jerry Grafstein, was preparing a bid for three papers (Post, Ottawa Citizen, Gazette) from the 46-paper chain.

In addition, Canwest has announced that Gail Asper and David Asper (daughter and son of Canwest founder Izzy Asper) have resigned from the company’s board, along with Lisa Pankratz, in order to “pursue other business commitments and charitable initiatives.” Leonard Asper will remain as president and CEO and the three board positions will not be filled.