Corus Entertainment Expands Interests in French-language Specialty Television Market through Major Deals with Bell and Shaw Media
Acquisitions include TELETOON, Historia and Séries+; Ottawa-based Radio Stations CKQB-FM and CJOT-FM; and ABC Spark
TORONTO, March 4, 2013 /CNW/ - Corus Entertainment Inc. (TSX: CJR.B) announced today that it has entered into a number of agreements with Bell and separately with Shaw Media, that extends Corus' portfolio of Radio assets into Ottawa, consolidates Corus' ownership of ABC Spark and TELETOON, and enables Corus to become a significant media contributor in the Québec and the French-language specialty television market.
Corus has reached an agreement with Bell to acquire the 50% remaining ownership interest in TELETOON and two Ottawa-based radio stations, CKQB-FM (The Bear 106.9) and CJOT-FM (boom 99.7), that Bell will acquire as part of the acquisition of Astral Media Inc. pending regulatory approval. With these acquisitions, TELETOON, Télétoon (French), TELETOON Retro, Télétoon Rétro (French), Cartoon Network (Canada) and radio stations, CKQB-FM and CJOT-FM, will be wholly owned by Corus. In addition, Corus has reached an agreement with Bell and Shaw Media to acquire each of their respective 50% interests in the French-language specialty channels Historia and Séries+. Certain transactions are subject to approval by the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) and the Competition Bureau.
In a separate transaction, Corus has entered into an agreement with Shaw Media that will result in Corus acquiring the remaining 49% interest in the successful specialty television service ABC Spark from Shaw Media. As part of the agreement, Corus will sell its 20% interest in Food Network Canada to Shaw Media.
"These transactions represent a transformative opportunity for Corus," said John Cassaday, President and Chief Executive Officer, Corus Entertainment. "The consolidation of TELETOON and the addition of the popular services Historia and Séries+ give Corus the scale to expand into the growing French-language specialty television market. As a well-capitalized company, Corus can contribute to the growth of this market and provide new opportunities for the production community, while adding greater diversity to the system and more choice to French-speaking audiences.
The addition of the Ottawa radio stations, CKQB-FM and CJOT-FM, has been a long-standing goal and allows us to bring our skills and passion for radio to another major Canadian market, while delivering exceptional programming and local information to the Ottawa community. Finally, full ownership of ABC Spark, based on the highly successful ABC Family channel in the U.S., and now widely distributed across Canada, represents an excellent growth opportunity for Corus."
The combined acquisition price for these assets is $494 million Cdn. The overall transaction is valued at an LTM EBITDA multiple of 10.4x.
A conference call with Corus senior management to discuss these transactions is scheduled for Tuesday, March 5, 2013 at 8:30 a.m. ET. While this call is directed at analysts and investors, members of the media are welcome to listen in. The dial‐in number for the conference call for North America is 1.800.926.5230 and for local/international callers is 416.981.9020. PowerPoint slides for the call will be posted 15 minutes prior to the start of the call and can be found on the Corus Entertainment website at www.corusent.com in the Investor Relations section.
About Corus Entertainment Inc.
Corus Entertainment Inc. is a Canadian-based media and entertainment company. Corus is a market leader in specialty television and radio with additional assets in pay television, television broadcasting, children's book publishing and children's animation. The Company's multimedia entertainment brands include YTV, Treehouse, Nickelodeon (Canada), ABC Spark, W Network, OWN: Oprah Winfrey Network (Canada), CosmoTV, Sundance Channel (Canada), Movie Central, HBO Canada, Nelvana, Kids Can Press, Toon Boom and 37 radio stations including CKNW AM 980, 99.3 The FOX, Country 105, 630 CHED, Q107 and 102.1 the Edge. Corus creates engaging branded entertainment experiences for its audiences across multiple platforms. A publicly traded company, Corus is listed on the Toronto Stock Exchange (CJR.B). Experience Corus on the web at www.corusent.com.
This press release contains forward‐looking information and should be read subject to the following cautionary language:
To the extent any statements made in this report contain information that is not historical, these statements are forward‐looking statements and may be forward‐looking information within the meaning of applicable securities laws (collectively, "forward‐looking statements"). These forward‐looking statements related to, among other things, our objectives, goals, strategies, intentions, plans, estimates and outlook, including advertising, distribution, merchandise and subscription revenues, operating costs and tariffs, taxes and fees, and can generally be identified by the use of the words such as "believe", "anticipate", "expect", "intend", "plan", "will", "may" and other similar expressions. In addition, any statements that refer to expectations, projections or other characterizations of future events or circumstances are forward‐looking statements. Although Corus believes that the expectations reflected in such forward‐looking statements are reasonable, such statements involve risks and uncertainties and undue reliance should not be placed on such statements. Certain material factors or assumptions are applied in making forward‐looking statements, including without limitation factors and assumptions regarding advertising, distribution, merchandise and subscription revenues, operating costs and tariffs, taxes and fees and actual results may differ materially from those expressed or implied in such statements. Important factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from these expectations include, among other things: our ability to attract and retain advertising revenues; audience acceptance of our television programs and cable networks; our ability to recoup production costs, the availability of tax credits and the existence of co‐production treaties; our ability to compete in any of the industries in which we do business; the opportunities (or lack thereof) that may be presented to and pursued by us; conditions in the entertainment, information and communications industries and technological developments therein; changes in laws or regulations or the interpretation or application of those laws and regulations; our ability to integrate and realize anticipated benefits from our acquisitions and to effectively manage our growth; our ability to successfully defend ourselves against litigation matters arising out of the ordinary course of business; and changes in accounting standards. Additional information about these factors and about the material assumptions underlying such forward‐looking statements may be found in our Annual Information Form. Corus cautions that the foregoing list of important factors that may affect future results is not exhaustive.
When relying on our forward‐looking statements to make decisions with respect to Corus, investors and others should carefully consider the foregoing factors and other uncertainties and potential events. Unless otherwise required by applicable securities laws, we disclaim any intention or obligation to publicly update or revise any forward looking statements whether as a result of new information, events or circumstances that arise after the date thereof or otherwise.
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