biggest news you may not have heard: Corus/Astral Sale (New Update: Teletoon response)
Bell Media, a huge Canadian media company, wants to buy Astral Media, another huge Canadian media company.
But some of the things they’re buying would create a monopoly, so Astral, eager to make the sale, are selling off a few odds and ends. Like Teletoon(and Cartoon Network Canada, and Teletoon Retro).
So who’s buying?
Corus, who owns Nelvana, and YTV.
So now Corus will own Teletoon and YTV.
Whew. Close call federal regulators. Way to save us from a monopoly.
UPDATE: Teletoon had this to say:
As you may have heard, Corus Entertainment has entered into an agreement with Bell-Astral to purchase Astral’s 50 per cent ownership of TELETOON Canada Inc. Corus currently owns 50 per cent of TELETOON Canada and this purchase will make Corus Entertainment the sole owner of TELETOON Canada Inc. and its five English- and French-language networks. This announcement follows Bell’s decision to divest some of its assets including its 50 per cent ownership in TELETOON Canada Inc. in order to comply with regulatory policy.
We are very excited about this new development which is very positive for the future of TELETOON Canada. Corus Entertainment is the most natural and suitable acquirer for TELETOON Canada and TELETOON Canada already shares many services with Corus including English advertising sales and master control.
The transaction will have to go through the standard regulatory process and will only be complete, once approved by the CRTC and Competition Bureau.
At this time, we do not have precise timing on the expected completion of the transaction. Until the transaction is complete, TELETOON Canada will be operating business as usual and our level of service and commitment to our viewers, clients and customers remains unchanged.
We thank you for your continued support.
Here’s the full press release:
Corus Entertainment Expands Interests in French-language Specialty Television Market through Major Deals with Bell and Shaw Media
Acquisitions include TELETOON, Historia and Series+; Ottawa-based Radio Stations CKQB-FM and CJOT-FM; and ABC Spark
(Toronto, Canada) – Corus Entertainment Inc. (TSX: CJR.B) announced today that it has entered into a number of agreements with Bell and separately with Shaw Media, that extends Corus’ portfolio of Radio assets into Ottawa, consolidates Corus’ ownership of ABC Spark and TELETOON, and enables Corus to become a significant media contributor in the Québec and the French-language specialty television market.
Corus has reached an agreement with Bell to acquire the 50% remaining ownership interest in TELETOON and two Ottawa-based radio stations, CKQB-FM (The Bear 106.9) and CJOT-FM (boom 99.7), that Bell will acquire as part of the acquisition of Astral Media Inc. pending regulatory approval. With these acquisitions, TELETOON, Télétoon (French), TELETOON Retro, Télétoon Rétro (French), Cartoon Network (Canada) and radio stations, CKQB-FM and CJOT-FM, will be wholly owned by Corus. In addition, Corus has reached an agreement with Bell and Shaw Media to acquire each of their respective 50% interests in the French-language specialty channels Historia and Séries+. Certain transactions are subject to approval by the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) and the Competition Bureau.
In a separate transaction, Corus has entered into an agreement with Shaw Media that will result in Corus acquiring the remaining 49% interest in the successful specialty television service ABC Spark from Shaw Media. As part of the agreement, Corus will sell its 20% interest in Food Network Canada to Shaw Media.
“These transactions represent a transformative opportunity for Corus,” said John Cassaday, President and Chief Executive Officer, Corus Entertainment. “The consolidation of TELETOON and the addition of the popular services Historia and Series+ give Corus the scale to expand into the growing French-language specialty television market. As a well-capitalized company, Corus can contribute to the growth of this market and provide new opportunities for the production community, while adding greater diversity to the system and more choice to French-speaking audiences.
The addition of the Ottawa radio stations, CKQB-FM and CJOT-FM, has been a long-standing goal and allows us to bring our skills and passion for radio to another major Canadian market, while delivering exceptional programming and local information to the Ottawa community. Finally, full ownership of ABC Spark, based on the highly successful ABC Family channel in the U.S., and now widely distributed across Canada, represents an excellent growth opportunity for Corus.”
The combined acquisition price for these assets is $494 million Cdn. The overall transaction is valued at an LTM EBITDA multiple of 10.4x.
A conference call with Corus senior management to discuss these transactions is scheduled for Tuesday, March 5, 2013 at 8:30 a.m. ET. While this call is directed at analysts and investors, members of the media are welcome to listen in. The dial – in number for the conference call for North America is 1.800.926.5230 and for local/international callers is 416.981.9020. PowerPoint slides for the call will be posted 15 minutes prior to the start of the call and can be found on the Corus Entertainment website at www.corusent.com in the Investor Relations section.
About Corus Entertainment Inc.
Corus Entertainment Inc. is a Canadian-based media and entertainment company. Corus is a market leader in specialty television and radio with additional assets in pay television, television broadcasting, children’s book publishing and children’s animation. The Company’s multimedia entertainment brands include YTV, Treehouse, Nickelodeon (Canada), ABC Spark, W Network, OWN: Oprah Winfrey Network (Canada), CosmoTV, Sundance Channel (Canada), Movie Central, HBO Canada, Nelvana, Kids Can Press, Toon Boom and 37 radio stations including CKNW AM 980, 99.3 The FOX, Country 105, 630 CHED, Q107 and 102.1 the Edge. Corus creates engaging branded entertainment experiences for its audiences across multiple platforms. A publicly traded company, Corus is listed on the Toronto Stock Exchange (CJR.B). Experience Corus on the web at www.corusent.com.