CanWest Completes Sale of New Zealand Operations

On July 28, 2004, Winnipeg-based CanWest Global Communications Corp., an international media company, completed the sale of its New Zealand media operations to CanWest MediaWorks (NZ) Limited for shares representing a 70 per cent equity interest in CanWest MediaWorks and cash proceeds of NZ$300 million (approximately $251 million). To fund the acquisition, CanWest MediaWorks completed an initial public offering of 68 million shares (representing a 30 per cent equity interest) issued to the public at a final price of NZ$1.53 per share. CanWest MediaWorks also borrowed NZ$200 million from a New Zealand financial institution.

CanWest Global was represented in-house by Richard Leipsic, vice-president and general counsel, Tom Strike, chief operating officer (corporate), John Maguire, chief financial officer, Riva Richard, legal counsel, and Pierre Desloges, director, taxation; and assisted by Osler, Hoskin & Harcourt, with a team that included Richard Pratt and Deborah Salter (corporate) and Firoz Ahmed, Patrick Marley and Drew Morier (tax). Local advice was provided by Thomas Kormylo and Joseph Barnsley of Pitblado in Winnipeg and New Zealand advice was provided by Pip Greenwood, Jennifer Lander and Guy Lethbridge of Russell McVeagh.