Astral Media to raise funds for acquisitions

Montreal-based co. to offer 2 mil nonvoting shares

TORONTO — Astral Media will issue 2 million class A nonvoting shares in order to raise about $C77 million ($52.4 million).

Montreal-based Astral plans to use the funds to reduce its debt and for “general corporate purposes, including acquisitions,” the company said. “We’re interested in acquiring additional French-language radio stations in Montreal and Quebec City,” spokesman David Novek said, “and in specialty TV services, if they become available.”

Astral owns half of the Family Channel, Corus Entertainment the other half. Astral is reportedly eager to acquire Corus’ stake after Canadian regulators recently directed the latter to unload its share of Family Channel as part of an ownership ruling. Astral Media is a subsidiary of the Astral Broadcasting Group, Canada’s largest specialty, pay, and pay-per-view TV company, holding 20 network licenses.

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