Shaw Communications announced today it has entered into agreements with Canwest Global Communications, regarding the acquisition of a minimum 20 percent equity interest and 80 percent voting interest, which includes effective control, of a restructured Canwest.

Canwest filed for creditor protection in October, 2009.

The financial terms of the investments were not disclosed, pending court approval.

“We are excited about the investment and gaining effective control of one of the premier broadcasters and owners of content in the Canadian broadcasting industry at a reasonable valuation," said Jim Shaw, CEO and vice chair, Shaw, in a statement.

"We believe that Shaw’s investment results in a number of benefits to the broadcasting system, including an ability to strengthen local programming, ensure the ongoing viability of the second largest private conventional television network in Canada, and sustain a dynamic and competitive television market,” he added.

The recent restructuring initiatives undertaken by Canwest have positioned the company as a pure play Canadian broadcaster. The company will operate as a separate private company with a dedicated management team and board of directors.

The investment was structured whereby Shaw has the flexibility to increase its ownership in a restructured Canwest in the future. The agreements will become effective upon approval of the Court in Ontario overseeing Canwest’s restructuring process.

Shaw serves 3.4 million customers, including over 1.7 million Internet and 900,000 digital phone customers, through a network that comprises 625,000 kilometers of fiber.

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