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Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec is reducing its huge stake in Quebecor Media Inc. in a $1.5-billion deal that will see the media company own more of its shares.
The Caisse’s interest in Quebecor Media falls to 24.6 percent from 45.3 percent under the $1.5-billion deal unveiled Wednesday.
“Our intention was to take advantage of the window of opportunity created by the favourable conditions on the debt markets to increase our interest in Quebecor Media,” said Pierre Karl Péladeau, chief executive officer of both Quebecor Inc. and Quebecor Media.
Michael Sabia, chief executive officer of the Quebec pension fund, said he is “convinced of QMI’s potential to create value.”
“For this reason, we are retaining a substantial stake in the company.
While Quebecor is publicly traded and owns both media and telecommunications properties, Quebecor Media is privately held.
Through its Sun Media division, Quebecor Media is the largest newspaper publisher in Canada by number of titles, with 43 daily newspapers and more than 250 community weeklies.
Like other newspaper publishers, then company has been under pressure by declining advertising revenues as companies move their advertising spending to the much less expensive online world.
Quebecor Media -- which as of the end of last quarter was about 54 per cent owned by Quebecor Inc., posted revenue of 254-million in the last quarter which was 5 percent lower than a year ago.
It is also one of the largest broadcasters in Quebec through its TVA Group Inc., which is the most popular general interest network in the province. It also recently took a majority stake in the Sun News Network, an English-language all-news channel.