* Paper says banks hesitant to provide financing
* Friday is deadline for Canwest bids
TORONTO, April 30 (Reuters) - Fairfax Financial Holdings (FFH.TO), which deals in property and casualty insurance and reinsurance, has told bankers it will not bankroll a bid by the Torstar Corp (TSb.TO) to buy the Canwest chain of newspapers, Toronto’s Globe and Mail newspaper said on Friday.
Citing sources close to the matter, the paper said Fairfax decided not to back the bid with Torstar, which publishes Canada’s biggest daily newspaper, the Toronto Star, because of a tepid response from banks hesitant to finance a purchase of the struggling chain of assets.
A Fairfax spokesman declined comment on the matter.
Friday was the extended deadline for bids on the chain of 46 community and daily newspapers, including the flagship National Post, owned by Canwest Global Communications CGS.V.
Assets of Canwest, Canada’s biggest media company, assets are under creditor protection after it buckled under a near C$4 billion ($4 billion) debt load.
Canwest said in March a number of prospective buyers and investors who have submitted qualified bids were asked to take part in a second phase that includes management presentations, site visits and further due diligence.
Canwest filed for creditor protection for its television operations in October. ($1=$1 Canadian) (Reporting by Pav Jordan; editing by Janet Guttsman)