Friday, February 20, 2009

CanWest seeks financial saviour amid credit crisis

Leonard Asper is scrambling to secure a financial lifeline for CanWest Global Communications Corp. [CGS-T] before the end of the month to prevent his family-run media empire from sliding into bankruptcy protection.

Yet even if he is successful, the price of that lifeline could be steep. Some potential investors – including Fairfax Financial Holdings Ltd. [FFH-T] – want to seize control of the company from the Asper family in exchange for any cash infusion.

At least one investor weighing a proposal said it would insist that Mr. Asper step aside as chief executive officer and that he and his siblings eliminate the dual-class share structure that gives them control of the company, according to sources familiar with the matter.

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