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Astral & Bell "We Want To Merge Canada"

Submitted by on November 19, 2012 – 11:53 am

Late last week, Astral issued the following press release:

Astral Media Inc. (TSX: ACM.A ACM.B) today issues a statement with respect to its acquisition by Bell. While it is Astral’s policy not to comment on market rumours or speculation, Astral today confirms that it is in discussions with Bell to continue pursuing regulatory approvals for Bell’s acquisition of Astral, including, among other options, the filing of an application with the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC). The timing and details of any such application have not yet been determined. The Company will keep its investors informed of any significant developments in this respect.

The acquisition of Astral by Bell is subject to regulatory approval by the CRTC and the Competition Bureau. As announced on October 25, 2012, Bell has elected to postpone the Outside Date for an agreement to December 16, 2012, and each of Bell and Astral has the right to further postpone the Outside Date to January 15, 2013. There is no assurance that any transaction will occur or occur with the terms and conditions currently contemplated.

So it looks like they are not done trying to find a way to make this deal happen despite public backlash and the CRTC denying permission for it to go through a last month.

The Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) rejected the $3.40 billion deal between the two companies last month, saying it was not in the best interests of Canadians. The CRTC also said the deal would result in an unprecedented level of consolidation in Canada’s media industry, something of course competitors Rogers and TELUS were more than happy to hear.

“While it is Astral’s policy not to comment on market rumors or speculation, Astral today confirms that it is in discussions with Bell to continue pursuing regulatory approvals for Bell’s acquisition of Astral, including, among other options, the filing of an application with the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission,” Astral said in a statement.

The timing and details of the application have not yet been determined, said Astral, however  trading of Astral shares on the Toronto Stock Exchange had been halted before the announcement.  Bell has postponed the deadline for the deal until Dec. 16 and both parties can further extend it by one month. As part of the new application filed by Bell, they have also included the intent to sell some of its English assets, shares of Astral also rose late last week 5.1% as the news of a new deal by Bell to be acquired hit the streets.



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Dave Forde

Dave “The Connector” Forde has been involved in the technology industry across Canada for over 10 years in sales and marketing roles, he launched PR In Canada, and on Profectio.

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