Astral Media and BCE are still hoping to merge their media empires, and Astral says it is still holding discussions with Bell about the plan. The Globe and Mail has reported an announcement made be made as early as today.
The companies continue to pursue regulatory approvals for Bell’s acquisition of Astral, including, among other options, the filing of an extension application with the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission.
An initial decision rejected the merger, as the CRTC ruled that Bell had not made a sufficiently beneficial case for the merger and its impact on the Canadian broadcast landscape overall.
So Bell is pursuing other regulatory and administrative options; as announced on October 25, 2012, Bell has elected to postpone the Outside Date for an agreement to December 16, 2012, and each of Bell and Astral has the right to further postpone the Outside Date to January 15, 2013.
There is no still assurance that any transaction will occur or occur with the terms and conditions currently contemplated.