CANADA STOCKS-TSX gains as Astral shares soar on BCE takeover

Fri Mar 16, 2012 4:40pm EDT
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* TSX up 41.14 points, 0.33 percent, at 12,496.96

* Astral soars 33.9 pct on takeover by BCE

* Five of 10 main sectors higher

* Index down 0.05 percent for the week

By Jennifer Kwan

TORONTO, March 16 (Reuters) - Toronto's main stock index jumped on Friday as shares of Astral Media soared on news that BCE Inc will buy the media company for C$3 billion.

The parent of Bell Canada said on Friday it has agreed to acquire Astral, its largest content provider, in a deal to lock up more of the programming carried over its media platforms and expand its presence in French-speaking Quebec.

Shares of Astral jumped 33.9 percent to C$48.55. BCE fell 1.1 percent to C$39.64.   Continued...