The Ontario Superior Court approved Shaw Communications Inc.’s takeover bid for Canwest Global Communications’ television assets, Canwest announced.
Just hours before the court approval, Catalyst Capital Group announced a rival bid. This bid has the backing of the Asper family as well as two former Rogers Communications executives.
While the Shaw bid has cleared this court approval, it still needs to be approved by the CRTC and Canwest creditors.
“Catalyst’s offer was valued at nearly twice Shaw’s — $120 million — and would give the investment group a 32 per cent equity interest in Canwest and voting control of the company. A lawyer for Shaw made it clear at a hearing that the cable operator wasn’t willing to extend its bid past a Friday deadline and risk heading into an auction for the assets.”
A Canwest News Service report adds:
“Although the financial details of Shaw’s deal with Canwest are confidential, the monitor concluded, after reviewing both offers, that the agreement signed between Shaw and Canwest, which is now controlled by a group of U.S.-based bond holders, ‘remains unaffected by the submission of the Catalyst proposal.’ For now, sources say the bid by the consortium led by the Toronto-based private equity firm, also backed by Wall St. investment bank Goldman Sachs Capital Partners, will not be withdrawn. As well, sources say a group of bondholders is considering legal action because Shaw’s deal does not treat all creditors equally.”