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BCE Inc. (Bell) today announced it has agreed to acquire 100% of CTV.

Bell currently owns a 15% equity position in CTV and will acquire the remaining 85% for $1.3 billion in equity value from The Woodbridge Company Limited, the Toronto-based holding company of the Thomson family; Ontario Teachers Pension Plan; and Torstar Corporation. Including the value of Bell's present stake, the transaction has an equity value of $1.5 billion. Together with $1.7 billion in proportionate debt, the total transaction value is $3.2 billion. The purchase price represents a multiple of 10x proportionate EBITDA, comparable with similar recent media-industry transactions. In a separate transaction, Woodbridge will acquire ownership of the Globe and Mail, in which Bell will continue to retain a 15% equity position.


CTV operates Canada's No.1 television network with 27 stations across the country; 30 specialty channels, including TSN and RDS, the top English and French specialty channels; premium online video programming and properties such as CTV.ca, TSN.ca, RDS.ca, MuchMusic.com, MTV.ca and TheComedyNetwork.ca; and CHUM Radio, which operates 34 radio stations throughout Canada.

Bell's acquisition of CTV will be funded with a new, fully committed bank facility of $2 billion, $750 million in new BCE common shares that will be issued to Woodbridge, and surplus cash on hand.
The CTV transaction is subject to customary approvals, including approvals from the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) and the Competition Bureau. Closing of the transaction is expected by mid-2011.
 

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This is insane. Rogers/Bell and Shaw now own virtually every major private television and digital station in Canada as well as all the broadcast distributors.
 

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If the CRTC doesn't stop this, I hope that Competition Bureau can. I'm not really sure about the legalities of this.
 

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Wasn't the CRTC a couple of years ago (shortly after Von F. came in) stressing that separation of the products from the pipes was going to be the new direction? Or was I dreaming that :confused:

PFD, it's anticompetitive and against the interests of the consumer. Free market is for the interests of the consumer.
 

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The CRTC can't stop this. It allowed Global to be taken over by Shaw.

The only way this can stop is if the government changes the laws to prevent this type of media concentration.
 

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Well this isn't that much different from the Bell Globemedia days is it? Except this time The Globe and Mail won't be part of it. Is there a reason Bell changed their mind a few years after selling thier majoirty stake in CTVgm?
 

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This is getting a little ridiculous. We were all complaining 6-12 months ago about the local TV ads (pro or con).

They've disappeared, and lo and behold, Canwest has bought by Shaw, and CTV by Bell. Can't say I'm surprised. Without derailing the thread, I guess they've shutup long enough on local TV (both sides) so that these deals went through, now they can go back to gouging consumers.
 

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sorry argilo you are correct, it was the competition bureau that approved the Shaw takeover of Global. After the CRTC got kicked around on Wind Mobile, my guess is they aren't going to say no after the competition bureau said yes.

I hope I am mistaken.
 

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It makes a mockery of the whole "fee for carriage" nonsense, though, right? How can the channels ask the CRTC for more money from the carriers, when the carriers own the channels?
 

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Thank goodness my pension plan (OTPP) got out of this loser - now if they just rid of the their loser holdings (Maple Leaf Foods), I'll feel more secure.
 

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crossfire, That doesn't make sense. They should not be allowed to own broadcasting assets. Keep distribution separate from broadcasting. The landline business is part of distribution.
 

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True Hugh, but do you think they would want to go through with the deal if they were forced to sell off the speciality channels in order to get CTV?
 

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Sorry you lost me.
 

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If they are allowed to keep there distribution assets and broadcasting assets which I don't agree with perhaps as part of the approval they will be required to sell some of these assets.
 

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On the positive side it remains in Canadian hands which is little consolation to having the communications industry owned by three companies. Monopolyies have been the Canadian way for many years.
 

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How could it not remain in Canadian hands? Foreign control is not allowed.

This is a BAD thing on many levels. Cable/satellite costs to consumers will go up now that distributors own most of the channels in the country. Inevitably, this will drive more people away from paying for content and these companies will shoot themselves in the foot.
 
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