UPDATE 3-Canada's BCE, Astral plan new takeover application

Fri Nov 16, 2012 5:49pm EST
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* Companies met CRTC head, signaled intention to try again

* Deal blocked in October over broadcast ownership concentration

* New deal would involve selling some English assets - report

* Astral shares rise 5.1 pct, BCE up 1.5 pct in Toronto (Adds CRTC saying BCE and Astral met chair, signaled intention to file new application)

By Euan Rocha and Randall Palmer

TORONTO/OTTAWA, Nov 16 (Reuters) - Canada's BCE Inc and Astral Media Inc have decided to go ahead with a new, revised application for approval of their proposed combination after the first one was rejected, the country's broadcasting regulator said on Friday.

Earlier, Astral said it was in discussions with BCE, the parent of Bell Canada, over revisions to their agreement that would overcome regulatory opposition to their original.

Its statement came after a newspaper report saying the two sides had already worked out a fresh deal to submit to the regulator, the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission.

The CRTC blocked BCE's C$3 billion ($3 billion) proposed takeover of Astral last month, saying it would give too much power to BCE - already the country's biggest telecoms company and owner of numerous TV and radio assets.   Continued...