BCE wheels and deals

BCE Inc. may seek to finance its proposed investment in Jones Intercable Inc. by selling equity in BCE Telecom Intl. Inc., the unit making the investment. L.R. Wilson, chairman and chief executive of BCE, said Friday that BCE Telecom Intl. now has about C$ 1.3 billion ($ 97.5 million) in assets. Its proposed purchase of a 30% stake in Jones (Daily Variety, Dec. 3) for an initial payment of $ 275 million, “will add to that” asset base, Wilson said.

Meanwhile, Moody’s Investors Service placed the long-term debt ratings of Jones Intercable on review for a possible upgrade, concurrent with the company’s announcement of a strategic relationship with BCE.

Astral Communications announced it will build a compact-disc manufacturing plant in Montreal, and the Montreal-based company hopes to have it up and running by the end of next year. The facility will produce around 12 million CDs annually. Astral is also in the process of constructing a CD plant in Boca Raton , Fla., which is set to open next February.

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