National Post could shut down if transfer not approved, CP reports

With creditors refusing to continue funding the National Post, Canwest said it may have to shut down the struggling newspaper if a planned transfer of the paper into a different Canwest holding company doesn’t happen right away, The Canadian Press reports.

On Oct. 28, Canwest announced plans to shift the Post into Canwest Limited Partnership, which operates the company’s other ten dailies, from Canwest Media Inc., another holding company under which it now operates.

Courts and senior lenders have to approve the transfer and according to CP, a hearing is set for Friday, Oct. 29.

The CP report states:

“A number of Canwest divisions, including the Post, are operating under creditor protection and it says without the approval it would be forced to shut down the paper and lay off its 277 employees immediately. The company says the Post shares a lot of operations with other Canwest newspapers, which are in a division that is not included under creditor protection. Canwest says moving it under the same umbrella as the papers would help the Post keep its costs down.”

A CBC News report notes:

“The company has been under court protection from creditors since last month. The newspaper has lost more than $60 million in earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization in the last four years, Canwest CFO John Maguire revealed in the filing. The National Post Company currently has 277 employees.

“The announcement comes amid speculation that Canwest, which is seeking court protection from its creditors, is preparing to sell its newspaper division.”