TORONTO - Canwest Global Communications Corp. (TSX:CGS) is informally marketing its majority stake in Australia's Ten television network to local investors, according to a report in an Australian newspaper.
The Australian Financial Review says Canwest has started the process with hopes of selling its 56.6 per cent stake in Ten to five or six investors with a goal of raising about $390 million.
Named on the list as a potential buyer was the Commonwealth Bank of Australia Ltd. The report said Birketu, the network's second largest shareholder, has not been approached.
The report also said Canwest has asked Australia's Securities and Investments Commission to be exempt from providing trading updates as part of the sales process.
Canwest spokesman John Douglas said the company has a policy not to comment on rumours, and continues to remain focused on operating its businesses.
The Winnipeg-based company has considered selling Ten in the past, and the holding company has recently explored the possibility of selling additional shares, but backed off when offers were too low.
Canwest is working on selling its non-core assets in an effort to pay off $3.9 billion in debt.
Last week, the company sold American political magazine New Republic for an undisclosed amount.
The company also recently auctioned off its 26 per cent stake in sports broadcaster the Score for $6.62 million and hired an investment bank to find a buyer for the remaining $3.6 million in shares of Score Media Inc. (TSX:SCR).
Canwest has also put its five E! television channels up for sale, but so far hasn't been able to sell them.
On Monday afternoon, Canwest shares lost a penny to 30 cents on the Toronto Stock Exchange.