The Globe and Mail

Go to the Globe and Mail homepage

Jump to main navigationJump to main content

Bell Canada Enterprises (BCE) president and chief executive officer George Cope (L) and Ian Greenberg (R), president and chief executive officer of Astral Media Inc., speak at a news conference in Montreal in this March 16, 2012 file photo. Canada's broadcast regulator blocked BCE Inc's C$3 billion ($3.05 billion) takeover of Astral Media on October 18, declaring it would have given the Canadian media giant too much power.
Bell Canada Enterprises (BCE) president and chief executive officer George Cope (L) and Ian Greenberg (R), president and chief executive officer of Astral Media Inc., speak at a news conference in Montreal in this March 16, 2012 file photo. Canada's broadcast regulator blocked BCE Inc's C$3 billion ($3.05 billion) takeover of Astral Media on October 18, declaring it would have given the Canadian media giant too much power.
(Christinne Muschi/Reuters)

Subscribers Only

BCE’s new deal increases risk for Astral

The latest version of the BCE Inc. deal to take over Astral Media has more risk for shareholders of the target thanks to the disappearance of some key words from the contract – the so-called hell or high water clauses.

Under the original deal, BCE had to swallow any divestitures from the combined company that were ordered by regulators. The presence of the wording meant the company had to complete the deal at the agreed price no matter how many profit-killing assets sales regulators demanded as the price of approval.