Quebecor, the parent company of Quebec-based regional carrier Videotron, has acquired some more interest in its subsidiary Quebecor Media, after recently selling off spectrum to Shaw and Rogers for a total of around $600 million CAD.
The company is purchasing 541,899 common Quebecor Media shares from the Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec for $38 million, decreasing the pension fund’s ownership stake from 18.9 percent to 18.47 percent.
Following the transaction, the Caisse now holds 17,628,911 common shares of Quebecor Media, which contains assets such as TVA Group, Canoe Inc., Le Journal de Montréal and 24heures Montréal.
Caisse acquired interest in Quebecor Media in 2000, helping to fund Quebecor’s acquisition of Videotron — now the company’s main source of revenue. Quebecor has long had plans to purchase all of its shares away from Caisse, previously striking a $500 million deal to reduce the pension fund’s share from 25 percent to 18.9 percent in September 2015.
Quebecor stated in an accompanying release that its purchase was “provided for” by the 2015 agreement. The company now has until 2019 to purchase the remainder of the Caisse’s shares, allowing it to spin off Quebecor Media with an initial public offering or sell shares to another investor.
Quebecor stated when it sold seven of its spectrum licenses to Shaw on June 13th that the sale proceeds would “enable Videotron to continue investing in the development of its network in Quebec and Eastern Ontario.” It also seemed to spell the end for the carrier’s national expansion ambitions.