Agreement between Astral and Bell extended to July 31, 2013

MONTREAL, May 31, 2013 /CNW Telbec/ - Astral Media Inc. (Astral) and BCE Inc. (Bell) today announced that, in accordance with the terms of the transaction arrangement agreement dated March 16, 2012, as amended on November 19, 2012 (the "Arrangement Agreement"), Bell has elected to postpone the Outside Date from June 1, 2013 to July 31, 2013.

Originally announced on March 16, 2012, Bell's proposed $3.38-billion transaction to acquire Astral was approved by shareholders representing more than 99% of Astral shares and the Québec Superior Court. On March 4, 2013, Astral and Bell announced that the Competition Bureau had cleared the acquisition of Astral by Bell.

The transaction remains subject to closing conditions, including CRTC approval. There can be no assurance that the transaction will occur, or that it will occur on the terms and conditions currently contemplated.

This press release contains certain forward-looking statements concerning the future performance of Astral, including, but not limited to, statements relating to the proposed acquisition by Bell of all of the issued and outstanding shares of Astral. These forward-looking statements are based on current expectations. We caution that all forward-looking information is inherently uncertain and actual results may differ materially from the assumptions, estimates or expectations reflected or contained in the forward-looking information, and that actual future performance will be affected by a number of factors, including technological change, economic conditions, regulatory change, competitive factors and changes in accounting rules or standards, many of which are beyond our control. We disclaim any intention or obligation to update or revise any forward-looking statements. The completion of the above-mentioned proposed transaction is subject to customary closing conditions, termination rights and other risks and uncertainties including, without limitation, any required regulatory approvals, including approval by the CRTC. Accordingly, there can be no assurance that the proposed transaction will occur, or that it will occur on the terms and conditions contemplated in this news release. The proposed transaction could be modified, restructured or terminated.

About Astral

Founded in 1961, Astral (TSX: ACM.A ACM.B) is one of Canada's largest media companies. It operates several media properties — pay and specialty television, radio, out-of-home advertising and digital media properties — among the most popular in the country. Astral plays a central role in community life across the country by offering diverse, rich and vibrant programming that meets the tastes and needs of consumers and advertisers alike. To find out more about Astral, go to astral.com.

About Bell

BCE Inc. (TSX, NYSE: BCE) is Canada's largest communications company, with the Bell and Bell Aliant brands providing a comprehensive and innovative suite of broadband wireless and wireline communication services to residential and business customers across Canada. Bell Media is Canada's premier multimedia company with leading assets in television, radio and digital media, including CTV, Canada's #1 television network, and the country's most-watched specialty channels. For more information, please visit BCE.ca.

SOURCE: Astral

For further information:

Media: 

Olivier Racette
Advisor, Corporate Communications
Astral Media Inc.
514-939-5000

Jean Charles Robillard
Bell Communications
(514) 870-4739
jean_charles.robillard@bell.ca 

Analysts : 

Robert Fortier
Vice-President, Finance and
Chief Financial Officer
Astral Media Inc.
514-939-5000

Thane Fotopoulos
BCE Investor Relations
(514) 870-4619
thane.fotopoulos@bell.ca

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