Canwest testifies it'll repay loans by Jan.

Goldman Sachs not planning on changing loan agreement

TORONTO -- Canadian broadcaster Canwest Global Communications Corp. wants to emerge from creditor protection sooner than later, a Toronto courtroom heard Wednesday.

Canwest Global lawyer Lyndon Barnes told Ontario Superior Court Justice Sarah Pepall that the broadcaster aims to complete its restructuring with U.S. bondholders and senior lenders by January after it filed for court protection last week.

Canwest Global has a number of hurdles to surmount before it can restructure the company, including receiving regulatory approval for a debt-to-equity swap by U.S. bondholders that falls within Canada's strict foreign ownership rules, and overcoming objections from Goldman Sachs & Co. to including13 cable channels that it co-owns with Canwest Global in any corporate salvage plan.

The creditor protection does not include the 13 cable channels acquired from the former Alliance Atlantis Communications in 2007, or Canwest Global's daily newspapers, excluding the National Post national publication.

Lawyers for Goldman Sachs & Co. told Justice Pepall that they see no need to open or alter the 2007 agreement where the Wall Street investment bank largely financed Canwest Global's takeover of the 13 channels.

Canwest Global recently sold a majority stake in Australian broadcaster Network TEN as it works to reduce its $3.8 billion debt load, and the profitable Alliance Atlantis cable channels and the broadcaster's newspaper division are widely assumed to next be on the auction block.