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Purchase of the Alouettes | Pierre Karl Péladeau says he wants to avoid a distraction for Quebecor



Pierre Karl Péladeau says he is buying the Alouettes in his own name rather than carrying out the operation through Quebecor to avoid creating a distraction as Videotron’s parent company prepares to carry out a major transaction.

The big boss of Quebecor expects that this big transaction of 3 billion dollars – that is to say the purchase of the wireless subsidiary belonging to Shaw, Freedom Mobile – materializes in the ” coming days,” he said on Friday.

For that to happen, Ottawa must approve the merger of Rogers and Shaw and the side deal agreed between Quebecor and the two Canadian telecommunications giants by which the Quebec conglomerate will acquire Freedom Mobile.

With Freedom, Quebecor could expand its reach in Ontario and Western Canada and become the country’s fourth largest wireless player.

“We don’t want the Alouettes to become a distraction for our teams. [chez Québecor] “, explained Pierre Karl Péladeau on the sidelines of the press conference organized Friday to announce that he becomes owner of the Montreal football team.

“It’s not a business that generates profits,” he said of the Alouettes. “That doesn’t mean we won’t do it one day. Currently, it requires capital. »

Bad pass

The Alouettes have been losing millions for years. The Alouettes’ losses last year alone are estimated at between 6 and 8 million. Pierre Karl Péladeau suggested that it would have been difficult for a public company like Quebecor to have to assume the operating losses of the Alouettes.

“It seemed obvious to me that Quebecor’s involvement in the Alouettes was not appropriate,” said the big boss and controlling shareholder of Quebecor.

He nevertheless specified that Quebecor was going to join the Alouettes. “Because Quebecor can bring a lot to the Alouettes and the Alouettes can bring a lot to Quebecor,” said the 61-year-old businessman.

Buying the Alouettes in his own name is therefore, according to him, the “best solution at the moment” to be able to invest “significantly” in the football club as he indicates he intends to do.

“Things can change in life,” he nevertheless took care to add, which leaves room for conjecture and interpretation as to the possible entry of the Alouettes into the fold of Quebecor.

Broadcast rights

Moreover, the chief operating officer of Quebecor’s Sports and Entertainment group, Martin Tremblay, was closely involved in the negotiations leading to the purchase of the Alouettes by Pierre Karl Péladeau.

Quebecor Media’s Sports and Entertainment segment includes the Quebec Remparts and the Blainville-Boisbriand Armada, two teams of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League (QMJHL), as well as the management and operation of the Center Videotron, in Quebec.

Quebecor, whose stock is traded on the Toronto Stock Exchange, owes most of its revenues and profits to its subsidiary Videotron and holds a 65% stake in Groupe TVA.

Bell Media (RDS/TSN) has been the exclusive broadcaster of the Canadian Football League since 2008. League spokesperson Olivier Poulin told The Press that the national television rights belong to Bell for another four seasons, including this year, which is until the end of 2026. The cancellation of the 2020 season due to the pandemic would explain that the contract ends in 2026 rather than in 2025, as originally planned.

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