Cogeco Inc. and Bell Globemedia Inc. concluded an agreement on September 18, 2001 to jointly acquire Quebecor Inc.’s 86 per cent controlling interest in the TQS Inc. television network in the following proportions: 60 per cent by Cogeco and 40 per cent by Bell Globemedia. The cash consideration agreed to by the parties amounts to approximately $74 million. To effect the acquisition, Cogeco and Bell Globemedia have agreed to create a joint venture regrouping the TQS network and Cogeco Radio-Television Inc.’s six television stations in Sherbrooke, Trois-Rivières and Chicoutimi-Jonquière. The transaction is subject to approval by the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission and the conclusion of definitive agreements. This agreement allowed Quebecor Media Inc. to take possession of the controlling interest in the TVA television network, which had been held in trust since last year’s acquisition of Le Groupe Vidèotron Ltée by Quebecor Media.
Jean-Marc Fortier of Bell Globemedia and Yves Mayrand and Christian Jolivet of Cogeco were assisted by Daniel Bénay and Alison Breen (corporate), Charles S. Morgan (telecommunications and intellectual property) and Fred W. Headon (employment) of the Montreal office of McCarthy Tétrault LLP in the extensive negotiations leading up to the conclusion of the agreement with Quebecor. Marc Lacourcière and Félix Duval (corporate) and Denis Gascon (competition) of the Montreal office of Ogilvy Renault assisted Frédéric Despars of Quebecor with this transaction.