Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Quebecor Buying Caisse De Depot Stake in Quebecor Media for $1.69 Billion

Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Quebecor Buying Caisse De Depot Stake in Quebecor Media for $1.69 Billion

Article excerpt

Quebecor buys full stake in Quebecor Media

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MONTREAL - Quebecor is gaining full control of its Quebecor Media subsidiary by paying $1.69 billion to acquire the interest of the Caisse de depot et placement du Quebec, which helped the conglomerate to prevent Videotron from becoming part of Rogers in 2000.

The provincial pension fund manager, which started to reduce its stake in 2012, is selling the remaining 17.6 million shares it holds, representing 18.47 per cent of Quebec Media.

"Quebecor will now be better equipped to seize all the business opportunities that arise and will be able to fully control its destiny," president and CEO Pierre Karl Peladeau told shareholders at its annual meeting.

The Caisse initially owned 45 per cent of the Quebecor subsidiary after injecting $3.2 billion to help the media conglomerate pay $4.9 billion to counter the offer from Rogers Communications to acquire cable operator Videotron, which owned the TVA television network.

According to the agreement, the Caisse could sell its remaining stake starting Jan. 1, 2019 through a public offering.

Peladeau, who is Quebecor's controlling shareholder, has repeatedly credited the Caisse's support for helping to maintain a major head office in Quebec.

"Thousands of jobs have been created. That would not have been the case had the Rogers transaction been acted upon," he said at a news conference.

By gaining full access to the cash flows that it generates, Quebecor will be better equipped to seize business opportunities that arise and have full control over its destiny, Peladeau said.

Under the deal, the Caisse will receive $1.54 billion in cash and $150 million in convertible debentures that will be convertible into Quebecor class-B shares. …

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