WINNIPEG, Aug. 11 /CNW/ - Canwest Global Communications Corp. ("Canwest"
or the "Company") announced today that it has sold its three FM radio stations
in United Kingdom.
The Company's wholly-owned subsidiary, Canwest MediaWorks UK Limited has
completed the sale of its "Original 106fm" branded radio operations in
Bristol, England and Aberdeen, Scotland to private investors that include
members of the stations' management group. A third station that services the
Solent region of England has been sold to Complete Communications Corporation
Limited. All will continue to operate under the "Original FM" brand name
through licence agreements with Canwest.
After reviewing the U.K radio industry earlier this year, Canwest
determined that the growth potential in this mature market was limited and
that it would be better to focus resources in areas that had better long-term
"Our strategy is to focus on our core assets, improve our balance sheet
and invest in higher-growth products and areas of the media business,''
Canwest President and Chief Executive Officer Leonard Asper said. "When
reviewing our properties, we determined that the prospects for FM radio in the
U.K. were not consistent with the Company's long-term growth strategy."
Asper added that the sale of the three properties will enable the Company
to improve its operating profit by about $7 million annually.
Canwest first applied for its first FM licence in 2004 to complement its
television holdings in Ireland. At the time, U.K.'s radio market was expected
to grow significantly. However, by the time the broadcast regulator issued the
licences, two years had passed and the radio market had become intensely
competitive and the growth outlook was significantly reduced. Having concluded
that the three stations could not meet its financial performance expectations,
Canwest sold them.
Forward Looking Statements:
This news release contains certain comments or forward-looking statements
about the objectives, strategies, financial conditions, results of operations
and businesses of Canwest. Statements that are not historical facts are
forward-looking and are subject to important risks, uncertainties and
assumptions. These statements are based on our current expectations about our
business and the markets in which we operate, and upon various estimates and
assumptions. The results or events predicted in these forward-looking
statements may differ materially from actual results or events if known or
unknown risks, trends or uncertainties affect our business, or if our
estimates or assumptions turn out to be inaccurate. As a result, there is no
assurance that the circumstances described in any forward-looking statement
will materialize. Significant and reasonably foreseeable factors that could
cause our results to differ materially from our current expectations are
discussed in the section entitled "Risk Factors" contained in our Annual
Information Form for the year ended August 31, 2007 dated November 20, 2007
filed by Canwest Global Communications Corp. with the Canadian securities
commissions (available on SEDAR at www.sedar.com ), as updated in our most
recent Management's Discussion and Analysis for the nine months ended May 31,
2008. We disclaim any intention or obligation to update any forward-looking
statement even if new information becomes available, as a result of future
events or for any other reason.
About Canwest Global Communications Corp.
Canwest Global Communications Corp. (www.canwest.com), (TSX: CGS and
CGS.A,) an international media company, is Canada's largest media company. In
addition to owning the Global Television Network, Canwest is Canada's largest
publisher of paid English language daily newspapers and owns, operates and/or
holds substantial interests in conventional television, out-of-home
advertising, specialty cable channels, web sites and radio stations and
networks in Canada, New Zealand, Australia, Turkey, Indonesia, Singapore, the
United Kingdom and the United States.
For further information:
For further information: Media Contact: John Douglas, Vice President,
Public Affairs, Tel: (204) 953-7737, firstname.lastname@example.org; Investor Contact:
Hugh Harley, Director, Investor Relations, Tel: (204) 953-7731,