Bell Canada’s Parent Company Sells 15% Equity Stake in The Globe and Mail

Bell Canada’s parent company, BCE Inc., has announced it has sold its 15% equity position in The Globe and Mail back to the newspaper’s majority owner, the Thomson family of Canada and their primary investment vehicle, The Woodbridge Company; no financial terms were disclosed.

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George Cope, President and Chief Executive Officer of BCE and Bell Canada, said in a statement “We thank Woodbridge for their partnership and support over the years and wish them the very best in taking Canada’s national newspaper forward.”

David Binet, president and chief executive officer of Woodbridge, told The Globe and Mail “We are pleased to complete the acquisition of all of the shares of Canada’s preeminent national news organization and reconfirm our commitment to the critical role that The Globe and Mail plays in Canada.”

The Thompson family took majority ownership of the newspaper in 2010, part of a deal where BCE acquired a complete stake in CTV for $1.3 billion, from CTVGlobemedia, a private media company created in 2000 by BCE and the Thompson family, then known as Bell Globemedia. BCE kept a 15% stake of The Globe and Mail at the time.

The sale means BCE will no longer have a seat on The Globe and Mail’s board of directors. The Globe’s publisher, Phillip Crawley, told staff in a memo today the sale would not affect any day-to-day operations.

Now that BCE no longer has an investment in The Globe, reporters won’t have to disclose the former’s stake in the newspaper anymore, when publishing stories related to Bell Canada or its parent company.