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Canada's BCE Makes Offer for CTV Network

BRIEFLY / TELECOMMUNICATIONS

February 26, 2000|Associated Press

BCE Inc., Canada's largest telecommunications company, said it is offering $1.6 billion in cash for CTV Inc., the country's biggest commercial television broadcaster. BCE wants to use programming from CTV to provide local and national content for Sympatico-Lycos, its Internet portal. CTV owns one of Canada's three national TV networks. Jean C. Monty, president and CEO of BCE, Bell Canada's parent company, said the acquisition would "squarely place BCE as a leading player in the converging broadcasting and new-media industries." CTV said its board would meet soon to discuss the bid. The offer sent CTV's stock up 23% on the Toronto Stock Exchange. Under Canadian regulations, 10% of the transaction's value, or about $160 million, will have to be spent to develop Canada's broadcasting industry. CTV owns 25 TV stations, the satellite service ASN and specialty channels CTV Newsnet and Talk TV.

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