MONTREAL – Quebecor is spending $500 million cash to further reduce the Caisse de depot’s stake in the media conglomerate, 15 years after they joined forces for a transformational $4.9 billion purchase of the Videotron cable business.
Quebecor (TSX:QBR.B) said it has purchased 7.27 million shares held by a subsidiary of the province’s pension fund manager.
It plans to finance the deal with debt.
With this deal, the Caisse holds 18.1 million shares of Quebecor Media or a nearly 19 per cent interest.
The Caisse originally held a 45 per cent stake in Quebecor’s media division following the purchase of the Videotron cable television business, which owned the TVA French-language television network.
The pension plan’s interest in Quebecor Media, which now includes telecom, television and publishing operations, was reduced to 24.6 per cent in 2012 when Quebecor invested $1.5 billion to increase its share to 75.4 per cent.
Quebecor chief financial officer Jean-Francois Pruneau said Wednesday the Montreal-based company’s long-term goal is to purchase the remaining shares in Quebecor Media, which employs nearly 12,000 people in Canada.