Canwest's lenders OK extension

Broadcaster trying to avoid bankruptcy protection

TORONTO -- Canadian broadcaster Canwest Global Communications Corp. on Friday secured another extension from its lenders to stave off bankruptcy protection, to time to July 31.

Winnipeg, Manitoba-based Canwest Global said its subsidiary, Canwest Media Inc., will continue talking to an ad hoc committee of U.S. bondholders with an eye to hammering out a recapitalization plan.

Canwest Global had until Friday to reach an agreement in principle on a restructuring of its debt load, and July 31 to secure a definitive agreement.

This marks the latest in a series of extensions Canwest Global has received as it cuts costs and sells assets and agrees terms on a likely debt-for-equity transactions with U.S. bondholders and bankers.

The broadcaster recently received $175 million in new financing to keep it in business as it seeks a wider restructuring.