Canuck Telco Sells Stake in Media Assets

06 December 2005

Canada's largest communications group, BCE, has agreed to sell a large slice of its stake in one of the country's leading media organizations, Bell Globalmedia.

BGM, which owns the Globe and Mail newspaper, the CTV television network and several speciality TV channels, has inked a deal with multi-billionaire Ken Thomson's Woodbridge Torstar, which owns the Toronto Star newspaper, and the Ontario Teachers' Pension Plan.

Thomson, whose family once owned UK newspaper The Times, will be BGM's biggest shareholder with 40%, while the others, including BCE, will each hold 20%.

The C$1.3 billion ($1.11bn; €955m; £646m) sale of BCE's non core asset will allow it to maintain access to BGM's TV, print and web content so it can be distributed to telephone, wireless and internet customers.

BCE ceo Michael Sabia says it will reveal early next year how the proceeds from the sale are to be used. He also pledges the company will continue to be a "be a full and active participant" in BGM.

Data sourced from Financial Times Online; additional content by WARC staff