UPDATE 1-Thomson family's Woodbridge buys full control of Globe and Mail

Fri Aug 14, 2015 5:38pm EDT
 
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(Adds details on deal, background, context)

TORONTO Aug 14 (Reuters) - Canadian telecom and media company BCE Inc said on Friday it has sold its 15 percent stake in the Globe and Mail to the Woodbridge Company, giving the investment vehicle of Canada's Thomson family full control of the country's biggest national newspaper.

BCE did not disclose the financial terms of the deal. The Woodbridge Company had already acquired majority control of the Globe and Mail in 2010 as part of a complex asset swap deal that saw BCE pay C$1.3 billion (US$993 million) for Canadian broadcaster CTV.

Woodbridge Company also owns a majority stake in news and financial information provider Thomson Reuters Corp, which owns Reuters News.

"We thank Woodbridge for their partnership and support over the years and wish them the very best in taking Canada's national newspaper forward," BCE's Chief Executive George Cope said in a statement.

The deal comes about five months after Canadian regulators cleared Postmedia Network's C$316 million deal to buy Quebecor Inc's Sun Media newspaper assets for C$316 million ($282 million) in a deal that gave Postmedia control of most of the major English-language dailies in Canada.

That deal brought into the Postmedia fold some 175 newspapers and publications including the Sun's flagship assets, the Ottawa, Toronto, Winnipeg, Edmonton and Calgary Sun newspapers, as well as the London (Ontario) Free Press. Postmedia said the deal would position it to better compete with foreign-based digital offerings.

Postmedia, already home to the National Post, the Vancouver Sun, Calgary Herald, Montreal Gazette and other Canadian papers, also gained control of the 24 Hours commuter dailies in Toronto and Vancouver, along with a host of other community dailies and weeklies.

The latest deal comes two weeks after Postmedia rival Torstar Corp bought a 56 percent stake in privately held digital media company VerticalScope Holdings Inc for about C$200 million ($152 million), in a bet on a company that runs a host of websites on a wide range of subjects.

($1 = 1.3089 Canadian dollars) (Reporting by Euan Rocha in Toronto and Anannya Pramanick in Bengaluru; Editing by Don Sebastian, Toni Reinhold)