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Postmedia to buy 175 Sun Media properties

Toronto-based Postmedia Network Canada has entered into an agreement with Quebecor Media to purchase Sun Media's 175 English-language newspapers, specialty publications and digital properties. The $316 million deal includes The Toronto Sun, The Ottawa Sun, The Winnipeg Sun, The Calgary Sun, The Edmonton Sun, The London Free Press and the 24 Hours editions in Toronto and Vancouver. It also includes the English-language digital properties associated with these publications, as well as the Canoe.ca website outside of Quebec. Postmedia will also aquire Quebecor's printing plant in Ontario and 34 real estate properties in Ontario, Alberta and Manitoba.

According to the company, in 2013 the Sun Media properties generated earnings of $90 million on revenues of $508 million. Postmedia expects the deal to increase its cash flow and allow it to decrease its leverage.

"This acquisition brings together an impressive stable of brands that collectively create a stronger Canadian media platform that is better positioned to compete against foreign-based digital offerings and offers a greater range of choices to our readers," said Paul Godfrey, president and CEO of Postmedia. "We intend to continue to operate the Sun Media major market dailies and their digital properties side by side with our existing properties in markets with multiple brands as we have in Vancouver with the Province and the Vancouver Sun for more than 30 years. Our advertisers will have the opportunity to reach audiences across the country with a made-in-Canada option for their marketing programs."

The agreement has been approved by the boards of directors of both companies. The deal remains subject to regulatory approvals, including from the Competition Bureau. During the regulatory review period, Quebecor will continue to operate the Sun Media properties.

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