Canadian broadcaster and newspaper owner CanWest Global Communications has retained Citigroup Global Markets to explore opportunities in Australia after the country passed a law to abolish a 19-year ban on foreign and cross-media ownership. The legislation is expected to take effect next year. CanWest said Friday that it will examine a "range of possible scenarios" that could affect its 56.4% interest in Australian TV broadcaster Network Ten, outdoor advertising company Eye Corp. and its 70% stake in New Zealand TV and radio arm CanWest Mediaworks NZ Ltd. "No decisions have been taken with respect to possible outcomes, which include continuation of the status quo," CanWest said. Company shares rose to their highest level this year on the Toronto Stock Exchange on Friday. Australia's Macquarie Media Group is believed to have approached CanWest about acquiring its stake in the Ten Network.
Shares of Google Inc. soared 7.9% on Friday after the firm reported strong third-quarter results late Thursday. The stock closed at $459.67 after going as high as $460.10. Some analysts have said the shares could hit $500-plus by year's end.
MADRID — Spanish media empire Prisa Group posted a lower-than-expected profit of €99.2 million ($125 million) for the first nine months of the year, an 11.8% drop from the same period last year. Revenue climbed 72.8% to €1.9 billion ($2.5 billion). Prisa owns Spanish film and TV powerhouse Sogecable, which reported a third-quarter loss of €10.2 million ($12.7 million), largely because of startup costs at free-to-air broadcaster Cuatro, on revenue of $420.9 million.