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BCE Pulls The Trigger on BellGlobemedia…Sorta

After rampant speculation, BCE Inc. has finally dealt with Bell
Globemedia, a
“non-core” asset that's been on the block for more than a year. It's
not quite the deal everyone perhaps expected, though. Rather than dump
its entire 68.5% stake in BGM, BCE will hang on to 20%. The Thomson
family
will boost its stake to 40% from 31.5% while Torstar, which owns the
Toronto Star (Canada's largest daily newspaper) and the $88-billion
Ontario
Teachers' Pension Fund will each own 20%. The question now is what BCE
does with the $1.3-billion of cash it will receive. Does it pay down
debt? Does it invest more in next-generation networks so it can deliver
services such as video? Does it buy back shares or issue a special
dividend. Torstar's involving is perhaps the most fascinating part of
the deal given it has no TV exposure but makes it clear its interest
lie in BGM's CTV network and digital channels.. Other than the Toronto
Star, Torstar is probably best known for owning Harlequin Enterprises,
which publishes all those romance novels. .
(BGM owns CTV, the Globe & Mail newspaper,
15 specialty stations including TSN, 40% of
Workopolis.com and 15% of Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment, which
own the Toronto Maple Leafs, Toronto Raptors and the Air Canada Centre.
For more details on the BGM deal, click here for my story in the National Post.

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  • Mathew

    Kind of weird, isn't it? Teachers and the rest of it makes sense — but the Torstar part is a little off the wall, if you ask me. I guess they wanted a share of CTV and this was the only way to get it.
    Mathew

  • Anonymous

    Hmm, a committee of corporate behemoths now owns BGM, to better fend off those pesky blogs!