TORONTO Oct 25 Astral Media Inc said
on Thursday that its suitor BCE Inc has opted to delay
the closing date of its planned takeover of Astral as it works
to overturn a recent regulatory ruling that has reduced the
likelihood of the deal being consummated.
Last week, Canada's broadcast regulator blocked BCE's C$3
billion (US$3.02 billion) bid for Astral, declaring the deal
would give too much power to BCE, which is already the country's
leading telecoms company and owner of numerous TV and radio
The ruling issued by the Canadian Radio-Television and
Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) can be appealed to the
Federal Court of Appeal. BCE has also asked the federal
government to intervene and issue directions to the broadcast
regulator to overturn the ruling.
Astral said the closing date for the transaction is now Dec.
16. BCE and Astral have the right to further postpone the
outside date by an additional 30 days to Jan 15, 2013.