Rival bid for Canwest emerges

Just hours before Shaw Communications Inc. was about to seek court approval for its offer to buy 20 per cent equity and a controlling stake in Canwest, another bid has emerged for the company, The Globe and Mail reports.

The Catalyst Capital Group-led coalition also includes Goldman Sachs Group Inc., the Asper family, John Tory, ex-CEO of Rogers’ cable division and television executive Rael Merson.

According to the Globe, the coalition aims to own 32 per cent of Canwest and is making a $120 million bid.

The Globe report explains the details that have emerged:

“The Asper family is expected to contribute up to $15-million to the refinancing of the company, which filed for creditor protection in October. Mr. Merson and Mr. Tory will also make ‘substantial’ investments, according to investment bankers working on the transaction.

“But the bulk of the $120-million in cash and assumed CanWest liabilities will come from Catalyst, a $1-billion fund run by distressed debt specialist Newton Glassman. Catalyst has been involved in a number of successful restructurings, including a lucrative turn in the restructuring of printer World Color Press Inc., formerly known as Quebecor World. Mr. Glassman and Mr. Asper went to law school together at the University of Toronto.”

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