Canwest gains time to deal with debt

Broadcaster working to refinance $4.1B

TORONTO -- Canwest Global Communications on Wednesday said it has secured yet more breathing space from its Canadian bankers and U.S. bondholders as it attempts to refinance its CAN$4.1 billion debt load.

Winnipeg, Manitoba-based Canwest Global now has until May 5 to rejig a CAN$300 million credit line and reach agreement with U.S. noteholders now in position to demand payment of their $761 million principal and $30.4 million in interest charges.

The latest extension of a waiver on certain borrowing conditions for Canwest Media, a division of Canwest Global, comes after the Canadian broadcaster faced an April 21 deadline to reach agreement with its creditors.

Canwest Global also will receive access to additional credit during the next two weeks to stay in business as it attempts to restructure its balance sheet.

If its current talks with lenders fail, Canwest Global could face possible bankruptcy protection and major asset sales to satisfy its debt obligations.
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