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Postmedia gains time to grow digital revenue with debt instrument extensions

Copies of the Postmedia-owned newspaper National Post are displayed at a hotel in Burnaby, B.C., on Tuesday, January 19, 2016.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck

TORONTO — Postmedia Network Canada Corp. says it will have more time to pay down debt and grow its digital business after striking a refinancing deal with Ontario-based portfolio manager Canso Investment Counsel Ltd.

The Toronto-based company that owns the National Post and other newspapers across Canada says the deal will result in issuing $95.2 million in new first-lien notes that mature in July 2023, two years later than the instruments they replace.

Meanwhile, maturity of the company’s second-lien notes is being extended by six months to Jan. 15, 2024.

CEO Andrew MacLeod says in a statement the agreements mean Postmedia won’t have to worry about note obligations coming due for four years.

Last month, Postmedia reported a net loss of about $7.7 million on revenue of $157 million for the quarter ended May 31.

The revenue figure included $32.9 million from digital businesses, up 10 per cent from a year earlier, print advertising revenue of $64.8 million, down 17.6 per cent, and print circulation revenue of $51.4 million, off by 6.3 per cent.

“Since our October 2016 recapitalization we have paid down over $130 million of first lien debt (nearly 60 per cent of the total outstanding) while decreasing costs and achieving double-digit growth in digital advertising revenue for 10 consecutive quarters. Our strategy is working,” said MacLeod.

 

Companies in this story: (TSX:PNC.A, TSX:PNC.B)

 

The Canadian Press