Globe reports Post CEO has backers for Canwest paper purchase, Canwest denies

Globe and Mail reporter Andrew Willis cites anonymous sources “close to the restructuring” in a news story stating that National Post CEO Paul Godfrey has lined up financial backers for the purchase of daily newspapers owned by Canwest.

In a Friday, Oct. 2 article, “Godfrey wins backers for buyout of Canwest papers,” Willis reports:

“Mr. Godfrey, former CEO of Sun Media and the Toronto Blue Jays, has already succeeded in one media buyout and now has private equity backers willing to finance a management-led bid for the storied newspapers currently owned by his employer, sources say. The newspapers are expected to be put up for auction within the next two months, and could fetch $1-billion, as creditors take control of debt-heavy CanWest.”

Godfrey told the Globe in an interview:

“I am an employee of CanWest, and my loyalty is to CanWest.”

A Canwest spokesperson told CBC News that the papers are not for sale and called the Globe story “pure speculation.”

The Globe story states:

“However, sources close to the restructuring say he has been approached by private equity funds that want to buy all or part of the national chain, which includes the Ottawa Citizen, The Gazette of Montreal, Calgary Herald and both major Vancouver papers, the Sun and the Province.”