Cogeco, Bell buy Quebecor TV net

Company ordered to dump net after similar aqcuisition

MONTREAL — Quebecor has sold French-lingo network Television Quatre Saisons to Cogeco and Bell Globemedia for C$74 million ($48 million).

Quebecor was ordered to get rid of the net by watchdog, the Canadian Radio-Television and Telecommunications Commission after it picked up TVA, the region’s leading French-language commercial networks, when it took over cable operator Videotron last October.

Cogeco, Quebec’s second largest cable operator after Videotron, and Bell Globemedia, one of Canada’s leading media players, jointly acquired Quebecor’s 86% holding in Quatre Saisons Tuesday.

Cogeco will control 60% of the joint venture, Bell Globemedia the remaining 40%. The value of the Cogeco contribution is $68 million. Bell Globemedia will kick in $48 million in cash.

Deal gives Cogeco a much bigger place in the Quebec broadcast sector, and it is also key for Bell Globemedia, which does not have any significant French-language broadcast holdings. For Quebecor, the sale allows it to finally transfer ownership of the TVA Group to Quebecor Media. Deal is subject to CRTC approval.

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