BCE acquires remaining 85% stake of CTV for $1.3 billion

Bell LogoBCE (Bell) announced this morning that it has agreed to acquire 100% of CTV, the Canadian leader in specialty television, digital media, conventional TV and broadcasting. 

Bell currently owns a 15 per cent share of CTV and will acquire the remaining 85 per cent for $1.3 billion in equity value from four stakeholders: The Woodbridge Company, the Ontario Teachers Pension Plan, the Toronto-based holding company of the Thomson family and Torstar.

In a separate transaction, The Woodbridge Company will acquire ownership of the Globe and Mail; however, Bell will continue to retain a 15 per cent equity position in the national news publication.

George Cope is the President and CEO of Bell Canada and BCE:

 “Acquiring CTV’s range of premier video content enhances Bell’s execution of our strategic imperatives by leveraging our significant broadband network investments, accelerating Bell’s video growth across all three screens – mobile, online and TV – and achieving a competitive cost structure. 100% ownership of CTV enables Bell to maximize strategic and operating synergies with CTV, including the efficiency of our content and advertising spend. Our industry is changing rapidly. Increasing vertical integration across the communications landscape, ongoing technological advancement and key regulatory developments introduce new opportunities with the ownership of high-demand content by Bell. Our acquisition of CTV more than levels the playing field in our increasingly competitive industry.”

Ivan Fecan, CEO of CTV, added his thoughts on the mega M&A deal:

“Bell’s acquisition of CTV underscores the strength of our No.1 conventional, specialty, digital and radio assets, and our leading creative and content management expertise. In today’s digital age, it is extremely important to be part of a vertically integrated company that can take advantage of video delivered on multiple screens. CTV has emerged stronger than ever from the recession, and is now perfectly positioned to take advantage of an improving economy. This is the right deal at the right time.”

The transaction is expected to close by mid-2011.