Corus, Bell Media cancel deal for French-language specialty channels

The termination of the purchase agreement comes less than a week after the Competition Bureau blocked the transaction.

Corus Entertainment and Bell Media have terminated their proposed deal for the French-language specialty channels Historia and Series+.

First announced in October 2017, the transaction would have seen Bell Media acquire both channels from Corus for roughly $200 million.

News of the deal’s termination comes less than a week after the Competition Bureau rejected the proposed agreement.

The purchase agreement was still due to be reviewed by the CRTC before Corus and Bell Media on Wednesday (May 29) revealed it would no longer pursue the deal. In order to complete the transaction, both the Competition Bureau and the CRTC would have needed to give their consent.

“Bell Media will continue to seek opportunities to enhance our French-language content and grow media competition in Québec,” said a spokesperson for Bell Media. Corus will continue to operate Historia and Séries+.

The cancellation of the purchase agreement comes five years after the company first attempted to acquire Historia and Series+ via BCE’s acquisition of Astral Media. At the time, the CRTC blocked the move on competitive grounds. In order to complete the Astral deal, BCE had to divest itself of a number of Astral TV services including Historia and Séries+. Later in 2013 Corus acquired Historia and Séries+, as well Teletoon.

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