Bell to acquire national electronics retailer The Source

    Supports Bell's strategy to accelerate wireless and leverage momentum
     in digital television, high-speed Internet and home phone services

              Adds more than 750 stores across Canada to Bell's
                        national distribution network

    MONTREAL, Quebec, March 2 /CNW Telbec/ - Bell today announced it has
agreed to acquire national consumer electronics retailer The Source to further
enhance the growth of Bell's wireless, digital TV, Internet and home phone
    "The Source is a respected leader in consumer electronics retailing right
across Canada. Its acquisition supports Bell's strategic imperatives to
accelerate wireless and leverage momentum in wireline services like Bell TV,
Bell Internet and Bell Home Phone," said George Cope, President and CEO of
Bell and BCE.
    "With its strong national presence, brand, and management team, acquiring
The Source represents a competitive and cost-effective approach to ensuring
Bell's leadership in delivering the best communications products to
Canadians," Mr. Cope said. "Expanding the number of places people can buy Bell
products is a core element in the execution of Bell's strategy to achieve our
goal: To be recognized by customers as Canada's leading communications
    In addition to its extensive lineup of consumer electronics products, The
Source plans to carry the full array of Bell consumer services at its more
than 750 stores across Canada, including Bell Mobility, Solo Mobile and
potentially Virgin Mobile wireless products and services, Bell TV's
industry-leading High Definition television services, high-speed Bell
Internet, and Bell Home Phone products, by January 2010.
    The Source will continue to operate independently from Bell following its
acquisition and will maintain its well-known national brand, broad range of
communications, computing and audio products, and its seasoned management team
to be led by Ron Cuthbertson, a respected 30-year retail veteran and most
recently President of The Source.
    "The Source's new relationship with Bell will make the most of the
combined strengths of both organizations in terms of products, service and
national brand strength," said Mr. Cuthbertson. "Combining Bell's
industry-leading roster of communications services with the brand,
distribution presence, and consumer retailing expertise of The Source will
contribute positively to the long-term growth of both businesses going
    The Source has a track record of profitability over the past seven years.
LTM (latest twelve month) revenue as of December 31, 2008 was approximately
$643 million while LTM EBITDA(1) (earnings before interest, taxes,
depreciation and amortization) was approximately $27 million for the same
    The acquisition of The Source and its more than 750 retail stores, most
of them in high-traffic mall locations, is a faster and more cost-effective
approach to increasing Bell's national distribution footprint than building
out new retail locations. More than 70% of Canadians live within five
kilometres of stores operated or licensed by The Source, and more than 80
million technology-savvy consumers shop at The Source each year.
    Bell is acquiring substantially all of the assets of The Source, which
was acquired by Circuit City Stores, Inc. in March 2004. On November 10, 2008,
Circuit City and certain of its U.S. subsidiaries voluntarily commenced
bankruptcy proceedings under Chapter 11 of the United States Bankruptcy Code
and The Source commenced a voluntary proceeding under the Companies' Creditors
Arrangement Act (CCAA). Bell is acquiring The Source pursuant to the court
monitored sale process being managed by NM Rothschild & Sons Canada Ltd. in
connection with the proceedings under the CCAA.
    Subject to court approval and other customary conditions to closing, the
transaction is expected to close in Q3 2009. Due to the nature of the sale
process and at the request of The Source, Bell does not expect to disclose the
purchase price until after the completion of the transaction.

    About BCE

    BCE (TSX, NYSE:   BCE) is Canada's largest communications company,
providing the most comprehensive and innovative suite of communication
services to residential and business customers in Canada. Operating under the
Bell brand, the Company's services include Bell Home Phone local and long
distance services, Bell Mobility and Solo Mobile wireless, high-speed Bell
Internet, Bell TV direct-to-home satellite and VDSL television, IP-broadband
services and information and communications technology (ICT) services. BCE
shares are listed in Canada and the United States. For corporate information
on BCE, please visit For Bell product and service information,
please visit

    (1) EBITDA does not have a standardized meaning according to GAAP, and so
    is unlikely to be comparable to similar earnings measures presented by
    other companies. EBITDA has been defined by The Source to be earnings
    before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization. The most
    comparable GAAP financial measure is operating income. EBITDA of
    $27 million represents net operating income (excluding non-recurring and
    CCAA reorganization costs) of $16 million plus depreciation expense of
    $11 million.

    Caution Concerning Forward-Looking Statements

    This news release contains forward-looking statements relating to the
proposed acquisition of The Source by a subsidiary of Bell Canada, strategic
benefits and competitive and cost efficiencies expected to result from the
transaction and other statements that are not historical facts. Such
forward-looking statements are subject to important risks, uncertainties and
assumptions and the results or events predicted in these forward-looking
statements may differ materially from actual results or events. As a result,
we cannot guarantee that any forward-looking statement will materialize and
you are cautioned not to place undue reliance on these forward-looking
    The timing and completion of the proposed acquisition of The Source by a
subsidiary of Bell Canada is subject to customary closing conditions and other
risks and uncertainties including, without limitation, court approvals, third
party consents and any required regulatory approvals or expiry of any required
regulatory waiting periods. Accordingly, there can be no assurance that any
transaction between Bell Canada and The Source will occur, or that it will
occur on the timetable contemplated in this news release. There can also be no
assurance that the strategic benefits and competitive and cost efficiencies
expected to result from the transaction will be fully realized.
    The forward-looking statements contained in this news release are made as
of the date of this release and, accordingly, are subject to change after such
date. Except as may be required by Canadian securities laws, we do not
undertake any obligation to update or revise any forward-looking statements
contained in this news release, whether as a result of new information, future
events or otherwise.

For further information:

For further information: For media inquiries, please contact: Mark
Langton, (416) 581-4339, 1-888-482-0809,; For investor
inquiries, please contact: Thane Fotopoulos, (514) 870-4619,

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