Canada’s Asper family owns the largest newspaper empire in that nation, along with the New Republic, in which it bought a controlling interest from fellow pro-Israel cheerleader, Marty Peretz. The N.Y. Times reports that CanWest Communications is nearing default on its loan obligations:
The company…has until Friday to renegotiate a credit facility of $241 million. This week, DBRS, a Toronto-based credit rating agency, said that failure to cut a deal would put the company, which has an overall debt of $3.1 billion, in default.
…Several analysts speculated that the Asper family, which founded CanWest and still controls it through a special voting share, might soon find itself on the outside.
Ironically, the multi-billion dollar deal that got the company in trouble involved buying the Canadian newspaper domain run by another now-bankrupt Canadian pro-Israel cheerleader, Conrad Black.
While the Aspers have long been known for their support for Canada’s Liberal Party, their views about Israel are quite right-wing, a phenomenon common to wealthy American Jews as well.
Things appear bleak for the Aspers:
Divisions among the creditors have led several analysts to believe that the company would be given time…to seek a deal…Few of them, however, expect that CanWest will be successful and able to avoid a reorganization or even bankruptcy, either of which would be likely to end the Aspers’ control.
I wonder how this will effect Marty Peretz and his property? Does he get it back? In the event that the Aspers lose control, does the magazine get sold to another party? And in this economic climate, who would be interested in buying a faltering print publication? Even if he wants it back, given Peretz’s market losses can he afford it?
I wouldn’t lay odds against TNR but, aside from its writers, editors and Peretz, would many miss it?