Bell Media has an agreement to buy Quebec-based Groupe V Media’s conventional TV network and Noovo video-on-demand service for an undisclosed price.
The transaction is subject to regulatory approvals and doesn’t include Groupe V’s specialty channels Elle Fictions and Max.
The transaction will add French-language conventional TV to Bell Media Quebec’s programming portfolio, a subsidiary of BCE’s telecommunications and media group said in a statement Wednesday.
Controlled by Quebec’s Remillard family, Groupe V Media is a private company that counts three other shareholders, two of which are owned at arm’s length by the province: Investissement Quebec and the Caisse pension fund manager. Together with the Fonds de solidarite FTQ, a labour-sponsored fund, they had a stake of 45 per cent as of 2014.
In 2013 Groupe V announced the acquisition of the MusiquePlus and MusiMax specialty channels from Bell Media.
Maxime Remillard, Groupe V Media’s founder and president, said in a statement that Bell Media will ensure the survival of the francophone conventional television network in a rapidly changing market.
“The industry in which we are evolving is constantly, deeply and rapidly changing,” Remillard said in a release. “Bell Media will certainly allow V to continue to evolve and reach out to the Quebec public on a massive scale.”
Besides its flagship TV station is in Quebec City, Groupe V owns stations in Montreal, Saguenay, Sherbrooke and Trois-Rivieres and affiliate stations in three other Quebec communities.
Bell Media owns the CTV Montreal English Channel along with two-dozen other stations in 14 communities.
“We look forward to continuing to work closely with the local Francophone production community in delivering highly engaging original programming on V,” Bell Media Quebec president Karine Moses said in a release.