Asper family making rival bid to purchase Canwest Global

  The Asper family, Leonard, Gail and David, are making a rival bid to purchase Canwest Global Television.   The Aspers have joined forces with Catalyst Capital Group, a private-equity fund (which owns a substanital amount of Canwest’s bonds) and New York based Goldman Sachs.The Aspers are proposing an offer of $120-million for a 32% stake in Canwest Media Inc.  and creditors would hold the balance of the company.  The Asper plan will offer all bondholders a stake in the new company. The plan involves only the Canadian broadcast assets television and specialty channels. 

It is reported,  the Catalyst Group includes two veteran broadcast executives, Rael Merson, who would become the Chief Executive Officer of the new company and John Tory, currently with Toronto’s Newstalk 1010 and former head or Rogers Cable

Catalyst Capital will provide the bulk of the financing, with the Asper family to contribute up to $15-million in the refinancing of the company.  Mr. Merson and Mr. Tory are also reported to be making signigicant investments in the new company.

The Asper offer was made on the same day Shaw is scheduled to be before a judge to obtain court approval for their offer to purchase 20% of Canwest’s broadcasting assets