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Transaction To Unite Astral And Bell Media Moving Forward

  • Good news for consumers and creators as Bell Media readies significant new investment in Canadian content
  • Revitalizes competition in Canadian broadcasting, especially in Québec, meaning more content and delivery choices for consumers
  • TSN Radio 690 will continue to serve the passionate sports fans of Montréal
  • Bell's all-cash acquisition of Astral to close on July 5, 2013

MONTREAL, June 28, 2013 /CNW Telbec/ - Astral Media Inc. (Astral) and BCE Inc. (Bell) today announced that, with yesterday's approval by the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC), Bell has now obtained all necessary regulatory and other approvals to close its $3.2-billion acquisition of Astral on July 5, 2013.

"Together, Astral and Bell Media will deliver more for Canadians, investing in great new programming and innovative new ways to access it, and ramping up competition in the Canadian broadcasting sector. It all means unprecedented new choice for Canadian viewers and listeners," said George Cope, President and CEO of Bell and BCE. "As two long-established Montréal companies, Astral and Bell especially look forward to taking competition and choice in Québec media to a whole new level."

The combined company will be led by a team of senior Astral and Bell Media executives, and Montréal remains the centre for French-language programming. Bell Media will also open new regional development offices in Halifax, Winnipeg and Vancouver. Upon closing of the transaction, Astral President and CEO Ian Greenberg will join the BCE Board of Directors.

"The Astral team has built a uniquely successful Canadian media business in the last 50 years, and all of us are excited by the new possibilities ahead as we join with Bell Media," said Mr. Greenberg. "With our combined resources, we look forward to bringing truly great new French and English language programming and viewing options to consumers across the country."

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