Goldman backs C$2.3bn media merger

The private equity arm of the financial powerhouse will join CanWest Global Communications in acquiring Toronto-listed Alliance Atlantis, a Canadian broadcaster.

Goldman Sachs and CanWest Global Communications today announced the acquisition of Alliance Atlantics Communications, a publicly traded television broadcaster, for C$2.3 billion ($1.95 billion; €1.5 billion).

The deal will help CanWest, Canada’s largest media company, expand within the “specialty television sector”, according to a statement.

The acquisition vehicle is an indirect wholly owned subsidiary of CanWest, according to a statement.

CanWest is led by its president and chief executive officer Leonard Asper. Alliance Atlantis is led by its executive chairman Michael MacMillan. Both companies are currently traded on the Toronto Stock Exchange.

Alliance Atlantis distributes the popular television crime drama “CSI” in Canada. The company also owns a majority interest in a distributor of movies in Canada.