Bill Doskoch: Media, BPS*, Film, Minutiae

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Postmedia wants foreign newspaper ownership rules eased

From the Toronto Star (“Postmedia pushing for looser foreign-ownership rules“):

Postmedia is pressing its case for an easing of newspaper foreign ownership restrictions as it faces U.S. currency debt repayment burdens CEO Paul Godfrey has likened to a “noose around your neck,” sources say.

They said Godfrey and Postmedia chair Rod Phillips were to have met with a senior political adviser to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau this week to discuss possible changes to long-standing cultural protections that bar majority control of media companies by foreigners.

An industry insider who spoke off the record said the executives believe that if Toronto-based Postmedia is forced to seek creditor protection the company could be broken up, with newspaper assets sold off to U.S. hedge fund creditors in a debt for equity swap.

Under that scenario, bidding would be opened to U.S. and other foreign interests so that holders of long-term Postmedia Network Canada Corp. debt would have a better chance of recouping all or most of their investment.

An easing of the ownership restriction could also alter Tax Act provisions that prohibit advertisers from writing off spending on print advertising if the property is not majority owned by Canadians.

 

Sat, January 30 2016 » Main Page, Media