Bell Media to acquire Historia and Series+ from Corus

The total cost of the transaction, which is still subject to approval from the CRTC and the Competition Bureau, is pegged at around $200 million.
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Bell Media is set to acquire the French-language specialty channels Historia and Séries+ from Corus Entertainment.

The media companies pegged the value of the transaction, which is still subject to approvals from the CRTC and Competition Bureau, at approximately $200 million. The deal is expected to close in mid-2018.

Doug Murphy, president and CEO, Corus Entertainment, said in a statement the decision to sell the channels is part of the company’s commitment to decreasing its debt to profit ratio.

“As we reviewed our portfolio of assets this year, we determined that while Historia and Séries+ are excellent channels, they are not core to advancing Corus’ strategic priorities at this time. Furthermore, the increased financial flexibility this transaction provides will enable Corus to accelerate our transformation into an industry-leading integrated media and content company,” continued Murphy.

Corus is due to announce its Q4 and year-end financial results on Wednesday.

Bell Media currently operates 10 French-language TV channels in Québec, including Canal D, Canal Vie, Cinépop, Investigation, RDS, RDS Info, RDS2, Super Écran, Vrak, and Z. Gerry Frappier, Bell Media’s president, French-language TV and RDS, said in a statement that Bell Media had commissioned around 2,700 hours of original French-language content in the past, spanning more than 530 original productions.

Bell Media parent co BCE originally intended to pick up the channels in 2013 through its acquisition of Astral Media. The CRTC denied the acquisition, however, on competition grounds. To complete the deal, BCE had to divest itself of Astral TV services including Historia and Séries+. Corus ultimately acquired the channels at the end of that year.

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