On January 9, 2001, Bell Globemedia, a company with interests in broadcasting, newsprint and the Internet, was created following the closing of a deal between its owners, BCE Inc. (70.1 per cent), The Thomson Corporation (20 per cent) and the Thomson family’s private holding company, The Woodbridge Company Limited (9.9 per cent). The new company will have pro forma 2001 revenue of $1.2 billion, and has assets valued at approximately $4 billion with minimal debt. Bell Globemedia’s assets include CTV, The Globe and Mail, Globe Interactive (an Internet content provider), and Sympatico-Lycos (a popular Internet portal). BCE has 20 million customer connections across Canada, and Bell Globemedia will focus on delivering news, sports and entertainment to these customers through print, broadcast and the Internet.
The team from Torys acting for The Thomson Corporation and The Woodbridge Company Limited included Mike Siltala, David Seville and Peter Walker, with additional assistance from Ed Nordholm, Dick Balfour, Ken McCarter, Peter Aziz and Paul Noble on corporate matters, Jim Welkoff on tax matters, Hugh O’Reilly on pensions and employment issues, Len Griffiths on environmental issues, Charles Dalfen on CRTC issues, Jane Helmstadter on real estate matters, Gabe Takach on software and related technology issues, and Wendy Matheson on litigation. Throughout the transaction, the team worked closely with Torys’ alumni Geoff Beattie (President, The Woodbridge Company) and David Binet (Vice-President, The Woodbridge Company).
Acting for BCE was in-house counsel Ruby Barber together with a team from Osler, Hoskin & Harcourt LLP comprised of Clay Horner, Terry Tone, John Leddy, Steve Luff, Firoz Ahmed and Steve Suarez.