Court approves sale of Canwest TV assets

Cable giant Shaw's takeover will be up for vote next month

TORONTO -- The $2 billion sale of Canwest Global Communication's TV assets to cable giant Shaw Communications has been approved by an Ontario court.

Justice Sarah Pepall of the Ontario Superior Court of Justice OK'd the sale after lawyers for Canwest Global, Shaw and unsecured creditors resolved an eleventh-hour shareholders dispute that held up court approval.

Canwest Global creditors will vote on the Shaw takeover on July 19.

Following late Tuesday night negotiations that ended with a deal Wednesday morning, Shaw has agreed to pay around $440 million to Canwest Global's primary creditors, another $38 million to unsecured creditors, and $11 million more to a shareholders group led by former Canwest Global CEO Leonard Asper.

Asper failed to convince the Ontario court to order a new 30-day auction of Canwest Global's TV assets to secure a higher valuation than the $2 billion bid placed on the table in May by Calgary-based Shaw.

Justice Pepall's approval of the broadcast sale removes a major barrier to Canwest Global eventually emerging from creditor protection.

Canwest Global last week secured court approval for a separate sale of its newspaper division to a consortium of U.S. bondholders.
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