BCE Inc. will acquire 100% of CTV, giving Bell ownership of CTV’s assets in specialty television, digital media, TV and radio broadcasting.
Bell currently owns 15% equity in CTV, and will acquire the rest for $1.3 billion from The Woodbridge Company Ltd., the Toronto-based holding company of the Thomson Family, Ontario Teachers Pension Plan and Torstar Corp, Broadcaster Magazine reports.
Including $1.7-billion in debt, the transaction is valued at $3.2 billion. Bell will acquire CTV’s 5,000 employees. CTV operates 27 stations across the country, 30 specialty channels (including TSN and RDS), and CTV.ca, TSN.ca, MuchMusic.com, MTV.ca and TheComedyNetwork.ca and CHUM Radio (which operates 34 stations in Canada)
“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,” George Cope, President and CEO of Bell Canada and BCE, told Broadcaster. “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.”
Said Ivan Fecan, CEO of CTV, told Broadcaster: “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.”