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Canada

Quebecor spends $500 million to buy further stake held by Caisse de depot

The Quebecor logo is photographed on Quebecor's head office in Montreal, Que., on February 10, 2013.
The Quebecor logo is photographed on Quebecor's head office in Montreal, Que., on February 10, 2013. Denis Beaumont / The Canadian Press Images

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.

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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.

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