CanWest Global Communications Corp. is selling its 70 per cent interest in CFCF Television Inc. to CTV Inc. for approximately $90 million and its 50 per cent interest in the ROBTv partnership to Thomson Canada Limited for approximately $30 million, subject to CRTC and other approvals. CFCF operates the CTV-affiliated television station in Montreal and ROBTv operates an all-business news specialty cable channel. CanWest acquired its interests in the assets last year from WIC Western International Communications Ltd. and was required to sell them in accordance with regulatory requirements. CanWest will use the proceeds from the sales to pay down corporate debt. Bell Globemedia, an affiliate of Thomson and CTV’s parent company, plans to acquire 100 per cent of ROBTv, subject to regulatory approval. Bell Globemedia owns CTV, The Globe and Mail, Globe Interactive and Sympatico-Lycos Inc., and is owned by BCE Inc. (70.1 per cent), The Thomson Corporation (20 per cent) and The Woodbridge Company Limited (9.9 per cent). The deals were announced on April 17, 2001.
CanWest’s legal team is led by Vice-President and General Counsel Richard Leipsic, and Associate General Counsel, Pamela Harrod, supported by Osler, Hoskin & Harcourt LLP. The Oslers team includes Linda Robinson, Douglas Marshall, Carl DeLuca and Jeffrey Mandell on corporate matters; David Tetreault and Yi-Wen Hsu on tax; and Kirsten Embree and Cynthia Rathwell on regulatory matters. Acting for CTV and Bell Globemedia are Vice-President, Legal and Corporate, André Serero and David Matlow, Neil Sternthal (corporate), Carrie Smit (tax), Kathryn Robinson, Tracey Pearce and Jennifer Bol (regulatory) of Goodmans LLP. Thomson is represented by Vice-President and General Counsel Michael Doody and Michael Siltala and David Seville (corporate), with corporate assistance from Ken McCarter and Peter Aziz, together with James Welkoff (tax), Jay Holsten (competition law) and Charles Dalfen (regulatory) of Torys.