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CanWest sells Ulster Television position


WINNIPEG - CanWest Global Communications Corp. announced last week that its wholly owned subsidiary, CanWest International Communications Inc., sold its minority stake in Belfast's Ulster Television Plc., for approximately C$145 million.

The proceeds will be used to reduce bank debt. CanWest will record a gain on the sale of the UTV shares of approximately $50 million.

"The sale of CanWest's shares in UTV is consistent with the previously stated intention of the Company to divest non-core, non-strategic assets. While valuable in its own right, CanWest's investment in UTV was no longer considered to be of strategic importance in terms of the Company's overall media strategy," said Leonard Asper, president and CEO, CanWest Global Communications Corp.

CanWest acquired its interest in UTV in late 1997 and in the intervening period has received $33 million in dividends from UTV.

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