Quebecor raises stake in Quebecor Media for $1.5 billion

The stock repurchase comes as the Caisse de depot et placement du Quebec cuts its stake in the provincial media giant by just over 20%.

Quebec media giant Quebecor has purchased from the province’s pension fund giant Caisse de dépôt et placement du Quebec a just-over 20% stake in Quebecor Media.

The Caisse originally snapped up the 45.28% stake in Quebecor Media in 2000 to keep the culturally-sensitive provincial cable giant Groupe Videotron out of the hands of an acquisitive Rogers Communications, the Toronto-based rival.

Now the Caisse is scaling back on its Quebecor Media stake, taking it down to 24.64% as part of a deal worth $1.5 billion.

Quebecor will take its stake in its media division up to 75.36%, from the current 54.7%, by cancelling around 20.4 million shares in the company held by Caisse at a cost of $1 billion in cash.

And Quebecor will purchase another 10.2 million shares in Quebecor Media owned by the Caisse by issuing to the pension fund giant $500 million of subordinated debentures convertible into class B shares.

“Repurchasing a portion of the Caisse’s investment, while we continue our partnership, will allow us to benefit from the company’s expected growth over the next few years,” Quebecor CEO Pierre Karl Peladeau said Wednesday in a statement.