Canwest flush with cash

...for now. Court extends deadline but notes black ink will turn red in next quarter

Canwest Global Communications and certain subsidies on Monday secured another extension of a deadline to renegotiate their debt terms, this time from March 31 to June 15.

The Ontario Superior Court of Justice, in its latest monitor report on Canwest Global’s restructuring, also said the broadcaster had $96.9 million in cash on hand at March 14, or $50.7 million more than a January forecast.

The court report said the positive variance stemmed from higher-than-expected operating receipts and the completed sale of Canwest Global’s corporate aircraft on March 4.

But the monitor warned Canwest Global’s flush pocketbook will reverse during the financial quarter to July 4, at the end of which the broadcaster will have a projected negative cash flow of $47.8 million due in part to ongoing restructuring costs.

Canwest Global’s cash on hand and debtor-in-possession financing is funding its ongoing recapitalization, which has been slowed down by senior lender in-fighting between U.S. bondholders and Goldman Sachs & Co.