Shaw looking into Canwest deal

Cable giant could invest up to $65 mil for stake

TORONTO -- Canadian cable giant Shaw Communications on Thursday confirmed it has eyes on investing in or purchasing assets from a restructuring Canwest Global Communications Corp.

Jim Shaw, CEO of Calgary-based Shaw Communications, told reporters after the company's annual shareholders meeting that he has met with top Canwest Global executives about possibly doing an unspecified deal.

Shaw is in the running to invest as much as $65 million for a stake in Canwest Global as it seeks to emerge from creditor protection, a move that could put the cable operator front-of-line to acquire profitable specialty channels that are co-owned by Goldman Sachs should they come onto the market.

The cable exec was tight-lipped about where his current talks with Canwest Global are headed.

"Maybe there's ways we could work together to make everybody better," Shaw was quoted by the Canadian Press news service.

His comments came as the western Canadian cable giant earlier in the day posted first quarter earnings off 7% to CAN$114.2 million ($11.5 million, against $123.5 million in fiscal 2009, after it recorded CAN$82 million ($80 million) in debt servicing costs.

Overall revenue at Shaw's cable, Internet and digital phone businesses rose 11% to CAN$905.9 million ($885.3 million).

Shaw last year backed out of a deal to purchase three loss-making local TV stations that Canwest Global rival CTV had tapped for closure.
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