Today, the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) announced a favourable ruling which authorizes the merger of Canada’s two satellite radio providers – Sirius Canada Inc. (of which CBC/Radio-Canada is part owner) and Canadian Satellite Radio Holdings Inc. (the parent company of XM Canada). The merged company will have a combined enterprise value of approximately $520 million.
The CRTC’s decision follows a favourable announcement on February 23, 2011 by the Competition Bureau that it did not intend to make an application to the Competition Tribunal to challenge the merger.
The final approval required for the merger to proceed is an Order in Council, which the Corporation hopes to receive in May or June of this year.
“We are extremely pleased that the CRTC has given its approval for the merger to proceed,” said Michel Tremblay, Senior Vice-President, Corporate Strategy and Business Partnerships, CBC/Radio-Canada. “This is great news for CBC/Radio Canada and for Canadian satellite radio subscribers. The merger enhances the long-term viability and potential of satellite radio in Canada and creates an opportunity for CBC/Radio-Canada to distribute its world-class content to a broader audience throughout North America.”
CBC/Radio-Canada currently owns a 25.05 per cent equity interest in Sirius Canada. The Corporation’s interest in the new entity will be 15.0 per cent. It’s voting share will be 20 per cent, and the Corporation will have a seat on the Board of the merged company.
The merged company will have a combined subscriber base of close to 1.8 million Canadians. Sirius XM in the United States has a subscriber base of approximately 21 million.
CBC/Radio-Canada is Canada's national public broadcaster and one of its largest cultural institutions. The Corporation is a leader in reaching Canadians on new platforms and delivers a comprehensive range of radio, television, Internet, and satellite-based services. Deeply rooted in the regions, CBC/Radio-Canada is the only domestic broadcaster to offer diverse regional and cultural perspectives in English, French and eight Aboriginal languages, plus seven languages for international audiences.