WINNIPEG--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Canwest Global Communications Corp. (“Canwest” or the “Company”) announced today that Ms. Gail Asper OC, OM, LLD, Mr. David Asper and Ms. Lisa Pankratz have tendered their resignations from the Company’s Board of Directors and all other director and officer positions with Canwest and its subsidiaries.
In tendering their resignations, the members cited their respective desires to pursue other business commitments and charitable initiatives as well as to assist the Company’s efforts to reduce the size of its Board. Derek Burney OC, Canwest’s Chairman of the Board, said that these director positions would not be filled given the Company’s court-supervised restructuring which commenced in October 2009, and the Company’s newspaper and online publishing group pursuing a separate court-supervised financial restructuring plan, which commenced last month.
“I would like to thank Gail, David and Lisa for their years of skilled and dedicated service to Canwest’s Board of Directors and the commitment that they have demonstrated to Canwest,” Mr. Burney said.
He added: “I would particularly like to thank Gail and David for their decades of leadership and dedication to the vision that built Canwest. I know that their decisions were carefully considered and they have each acted throughout in the best interests of all stakeholders. I would also like to thank Lisa for her valued oversight and considerable contributions as Chair of the Pension Committee and as a member of the Audit Committee.”
Mr. Burney noted that the Company will continue to benefit from Ms. Asper and Mr. Asper’s considerable experience and legacy contribution through the restructuring process. Canwest has entered into consulting agreements with them for up to six months or until such time that Canwest emerges from CCAA protection, whichever occurs earlier.
Gail Asper, a lawyer, joined the Company in 1989, serving as General Counsel until 1998 and Corporate Secretary from 1990 to January 2008. Ms. Asper joined the Company’s Board of Directors in February 1992. She has also served for many years in leadership positions on numerous not-for-profit boards and charitable foundations including having served as President of the Canwest Global Foundation since it was established in 1997. She is currently President of the Asper Foundation and is also National Campaign Chair for Friends of the Canadian Museum for Human Rights which is spearheading the development of a new national museum in Winnipeg.
David Asper, also a lawyer, joined the Company in 1992 and became a member of its Board of Directors in January 1997. During his time with Canwest, he held various positions at the Company and its subsidiaries, including Executive Vice-President of Canwest and Chairman of the National Post. He is currently an Assistant Professor of Law at Robson Hall Law School at the University of Manitoba and is Executive Chairman of Creswin Properties Inc., which, among its business activities in North America, is working towards the construction of a new CFL football stadium and retail development in Winnipeg.
Lisa Pankratz, a chartered accountant, became a director of Canwest in April 2005 and also served as Chair of the Pension Committee and member of its Audit Committee. Ms. Pankratz is President of Mackenzie Cundill Investment Management Ltd. and an advisor to the investment committees of Pacific Blue Cross and B.C. Life & Casualty Company. She is also a Trustee of the Board of the Canadian Museum for Human Rights.
Leonard Asper, Canwest’s President and Chief Executive Officer and a director, will continue to serve in each of his present positions with the Company and its subsidiaries. The remaining Board members Derek Burney, David Drybrough, David Kerr and Margot Micallef are Independent directors actively involved in the Company’s financial restructuring activities.
Forward Looking Statements:
This news release contains certain forward-looking statements about the objectives, strategies, financial conditions, results of operations and businesses of Canwest. Statements that are not historical facts are forward-looking and are subject to important risks, uncertainties and assumptions. These statements are based on the Company’s current expectations about our business and the markets in which the Company operate, and upon various estimates and assumptions. The results or events predicted in these forward-looking statements may differ materially from actual results or events if known or unknown risks, trends or uncertainties affect the Company’s business, or if the Company’s estimates or assumptions turn out to be inaccurate. As a result, there is no assurance that the circumstances described in any forward-looking statement will materialize. Significant and reasonably foreseeable factors that could cause the Company’s results to differ materially from its current expectations are discussed in the section entitled "Risk Factors" contained in our Annual Information Form for the year ended August 31, 2009 dated November 26, 2009 filed by Canwest Global Communications Corp. with the Canadian securities commissions (available on SEDAR at www.sedar.com ), as updated in its most recent Management's Discussion and Analysis for the three months ended November 30, 2009. The Company disclaims any intention or obligation to update any forward-looking statement even if new information becomes available, as a result of future events or for any other reason.
About Canwest Global Communications Corp.
Canwest Global Communications Corp. (www.canwest.com), (TSX-V: CGS and CGS.A) is Canada’s largest media company. In addition to owning the Global Television Network, operating 18 industry-leading specialty channels and having ownership in 5 specialty channels, Canwest is Canada’s largest publisher of English language paid daily newspapers and owns and operates more than 80 online properties.