CanWest takes full control of National Post


Winnipeg - CanWest Global Communications Corp. today reached an agreement with Hollinger International Inc. to acquire its 50% interest of the National Post partnership, which will result in CanWest owning 100% of the partnership, including the National Post newspaper, Saturday Night magazine, National Post Business magazine, NP Online and Infomart.

Since it launched in October 1998, The Post has rung up an estimated $190-million in losses.

The transaction will close on March 31, 2002, and will require Competition Bureau approval. The purchase price will consist of various agreements, undertakings and other consideration exchanged by the parties.

Black will leave the National Post as Publisher on September 1, 2001, Associate Publisher Gordon Fisher will assume the role of Acting Publisher on that date and CanWest intends to take a much more active role in the National Post's management in preparation for the ownership transition.

"We have the highest respect and regard for what Conrad Black and David Radler have accomplished with the National Post," said Leonard Asper, President and Chief Executive Officer of CanWest. "In three short years they created out of thin air, with sheer entrepreneurial will and ingenuity, a world class franchise which stands a tribute to journalistic excellence. CanWest intends to maintain the integrity and high standards for which Mr. Black personally and the National Post are known."

"We maintain our strong relationship with Hollinger, which continues to own 15% of CanWest, with Messrs. Black and Radler remaining on the CanWest Board," Mr. Asper added. "CanWest will also continue to receive the benefit of the existing Ravelston management and advisory agreement which covers both the National Post and the Southam newspapers."

"This transaction accelerates what was likely to have occurred in the future in any event," said Tom Strike, CanWest's Chief Operating Officer.

"This will now facilitate CanWest's efforts in maximizing the convergence opportunity between the Global TV Group, the National Post and the Southam newspapers as well as our online assets including Infomart and NP Online."

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