Bell and Astral say takeover deal to close July 5 following CRTC approval

MONTREAL – The takeover of Astral Media Inc. (TSX:ACM.B) by BCE Inc. (TSX:BCE) is now expected to close on July 5, the companies said Friday following the final regulatory approval by the CRTC.

The broadcast regulator signed off a revised version of the deal on Thursday, after rejecting an earlier proposal last year.

The CRTC said the revised bid, in which Bell (TSX:BCE) agreed to sell some of Astral’s specialty TV channels and radio stations, satisfied its concerns that the company would be too dominant in the market.

BCE said the combined company will be led by a team of senior Astral and Bell Media executives.

Astral president and CEO Ian Greenberg will also join the BCE board of directors.