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Last updated on April 16, 2014 at 13:48 EDT

Bell welcomes Astral Media shareholders’ approval of acquisition

May 24, 2012

Transaction to acquire Québec’s leading media company supports Bell’s
broadband investment strategy, levels competitive field in Québec media

MONTREAL, May 24, 2012 /CNW Telbec/ – BCE Inc. (Bell) welcomed the
decision by Astral Media Inc. (Astral) shareholders to approve Bell’s
acquisition of the leading Québec media company at a special Astral
shareholders meeting held here in Montréal today.

“We are very pleased that Astral shareholders have overwhelmingly
decided to support Bell’s acquisition, which brings together two of the
strongest brands in Québec to deliver the best content to customers
with innovative new broadband services like Fibe TV and Bell Mobile
TV,” said George Cope, President and CEO of BCE and Bell Canada.

“This transaction greatly increases the French-language content
available from Bell, and levels the competitive playing field with our
major competitor in Québec media. We look forward to welcoming the
seasoned and talented Astral team as Bell continues to drive broadband
investment, innovation and competition in Québec and across Canada,”
said Mr. Cope, noting that Astral President and CEO Ian Greenberg will
join the BCE Board of Directors following the closing of the
transaction.

Astral shareholders were asked to vote for a special resolution
approving the acquisition of all Astral issued and outstanding shares
by Bell in accordance with the definitive agreement entered into on
March 16, 2012. The resolution was approved by 99.84% of the votes cast
by holders of Class A non-voting shares, 99.95% of the votes cast by
holders of Class B subordinate voting shares, and 100% of the votes
cast by holders of special shares of Astral. The transaction is
expected to close in the second half of 2012, subject to court and
regulatory approvals.

Montréal-based Astral operates 22 television services (including 13
French-language channels), with premium offerings like Super Écran, The
Movie Network and HBO Canada, and top specialty brands such as Canal
Vie, Canal D, VRAK TV, MusiquePlus, Télétoon/Teletoon, Family and
Disney Junior; radio stations in 50 markets, including big brands like
NRJ, Virgin Radio, Rouge fm, EZ Rock and boom; more than 100 websites
and digital media properties; and out-of-home advertising signage
locations in Québec, Ontario and British Columbia.

About Bell
Headquartered in Montréal, BCE Inc. (TSX, NYSE: BCE) is Canada’s largest
communications company, with the Bell and Bell Aliant brands providing
a comprehensive and innovative suite of broadband wireless and wireline
communication services to residential and business customers across
Canada. Bell Media is Canada’s premier multimedia company with leading
assets in television, radio and digital media, including CTV, Canada’s
#1 television network, and the country’s most-watched specialty
channels.

The Bell Mental Health Initiative is a multi-year charitable program
that promotes mental health across Canada via the Bell Let’s Talk
anti-stigma campaign and support for community care, research and
workplace best practices. To learn more, please visit Bell.ca/LetsTalk.

For BCE corporate information, please visit BCE.ca. For Bell product and service information, please visit Bell.ca. For Bell Media, please visit BellMedia.ca.

Caution Concerning Forward-Looking Statements
Certain statements made in this news release, including, but not limited
to, statements relating to the proposed acquisition by BCE Inc. of all
of the issued and outstanding shares of Astral Media Inc., the expected
closing date of the transaction, certain strategic benefits expected to
result from the transaction, and other statements that are not
historical facts, are forward-looking. Forward-looking statements, by
their very nature, are subject to inherent risks and uncertainties and
are based on several assumptions which give rise to the possibility
that actual results or events could differ materially from our
expectations expressed in or implied by such forward-looking
statements. 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 statements. The forward-looking
statements contained in this news release describe our expectations at
the date of this news 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. Forward-looking
statements are provided herein for the purpose of giving information
about the proposed transaction referred to above and its expected
impact. Readers are cautioned that such information may not be
appropriate for other purposes. The timing and completion of the
above-mentioned proposed transaction is subject to customary closing
conditions, termination rights and other risks and uncertainties
including, without limitation, court and regulatory approvals,
including approval by the CRTC, Competition Bureau and TSX.
Accordingly, there can be no assurance that the proposed transaction
will occur, or that it will occur at the expected time or on the terms
and conditions contemplated in this news release. The proposed
transaction could be modified, restructured or terminated. There can
also be no assurance that the strategic benefits expected to result
from the transaction will be fully realized.

SOURCE BELL CANADA


Source: PR Newswire