CTV parent finds new income trust

BCE invests in Bell Globemedia

TORONTO — It’s business as usual at national web CTV after Canada’s financial and telecom world was rocked Wednesday by news that Ma Bell will be wound down and replaced by an income trust called the Bell Canada Income Fund.

BCE owns 15% of Bell Globemedia, the parent company of CTV, a major private Canadian network.

“We regard (BCE’s investment in Bell Globemedia) as a very interesting opportunity for us to participate in, to be in the room in, the creation of new content and the repurposing of content for the Internet, for the delivery over mobile phones, for delivery to the home, both to televisions and to the PC in the home,” Bell Inc. prexy-CEO Michael Sabia told Canadian media on Wednesday.

“There’s no change in our position, in our thinking with respect to Bell Globemedia. It’s a good partnership with great partners with access to great content, and that’s important for the future of Bell.”

Income trusts have become a popular means for mature, publicly traded companies to reduce the amount of income tax they pay and to distribute their income directly to shareholders.

Alliance Atlantis spun off its distribution division into an income trust, Movie Distribution Income Fund, in 2003.

CanWest Global, parent company to CTV rival Global Television, reportedly has been eyeing a similar strategy.

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