The New Millennium
Quebecor has maintained its course into the new millennium, continuing to grow all its lines of business. With its expanded service offering embracing a full range of communication platforms, Quebecor has become a dominant player in the new economy in Canada and around the world.
Acquisition of Videotron : a milestone
In October 2000, Quebecor opened a new chapter in its development with the acquisition of Groupe Vidéotron ltée, the third largest cable operator in Canada and the largest in Québec. Videotron is a major Internet Service Provider, particularly for high-speed access. Along with Videotron, Quebecor picked up its subsidiaries Netgraphe, an important Web content developer and operator of numerous Web properties, and TVA Group, owner of the TVA broadcasting network and of magazine publisher TVA Publishing.
To carry out this major acquisition, Quebecor created a new subsidiary, Quebecor Media Inc., and formed a partnership with an important financial backer, Capital Communications CDP inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of the Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec.
Cable TV, Internet access and telephony
In May 2001, the Canadian Radio-Television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) approved the acquisition of Vidéotron ltée by Quebecor Media. The decision cleared the way for the Company to forge ahead with its plans to create a major convergence-driven media group based in Québec. It launched Quebecor into new areas of expertise, including analog and digital cable TV, Internet access and interactive television. Subsequently, Videotron successfully phased in new services, such as video on demand, cable telephone and wireless telephone service, to become a full-service, one-stop telecom provider and a Canadian leader in telecommunications and entertainment products.
At the beginning of the decade, Nurun made a string of acquisitions in Europe, the United States, Latin America and Canada. In response to the worldwide slump in the Internet and telecommunications industries, Nurun moved swiftly to restructure its operations. Nurun is now focusing on its core mission of offering major corporations around the world Web design and relationship marketing services. In 2006, Nurun entered the Asian market by making an acquisition in China and strengthened its positioning in Europe with a Spanish acquisition.
The acquisition of Videotron's subsidiary Netgraphe added other Internet properties to Quebecor's portfolio of Web assets, including toile.qc.ca, Québec's leading search engine, and a string of specialty portals. In May 2001, the Board of Directors and shareholders of Netgraphe approved the consolidation of CANOE and Netgraphe. The two companies set about integrating their operations and people in order to create a network with even stronger market dominance in Québec and the rest of Canada. In 2004, Quebecor Media took Netgraphe private. The company is now known as Canoe and operates a large family of general-interest and special-interest sites.
Sun Media Corporation's eight metropolitan dailies continue to perform strongly. In 2003, Sun Media Corporation acquired Annex Publishing & Printing, strengthening its position in southern Ontario. The company has kept pace with changes in the print media industry by launching a string of free dailies in major Canadian cities, including Montréal, Toronto, Vancouver, Ottawa, Calgary and Edmonton. At the same time, Sun Media Corporation has spent more than $200 million on construction of two state-of-the-art printing plants in the Montréal and Toronto areas. Sun Media Corporation's classifiedextra.ca site, Canada's largest and most powerful classifieds vehicle, includes ads from more than 200 Canadian dailies and community newspapers, as well as the Canoe network.
In August 2007, Quebecor Media acquired Osprey Media, one of Canada's leading publishers. Osprey Media owns 20 daily newspapers and 34 non-daily newspapers, as well as shopping guides, magazines and specialty publications distributed in different parts of the country. Osprey Media is also engaged in commercial printing and the distribution of inserts and flyers to more than a million Ontario households. The addition of Osprey Media to Quebecor Media's existing properties makes the company the largest newspaper publisher in Canada.
In the wake of the acquisition of Groupe Vidéotron and its broadcasting property, TVA Group, in the fall of 2000, Quebecor Media put TQS up for sale. On July 5, 2001, the CRTC authorized the transfer of TVA Group's operating license to Quebecor Media, conditional upon completion of the sale of TQS. TQS was sold on September 18, 2001 and TVA Group officially joined the Quebecor Media fold. Québec's leading French-language broadcaster is playing an important part in Quebecor Media's development plans. The resounding success of Star Académie, a reality talent contest that set new ratings records, confirmed the TVA network's market leadership. In 2004, TVA Group and Sun Media Corporation bought the Toronto television station Toronto 1, now known as Sun News. The acquisition expanded TVA Group's reach beyond its traditional audiences and advertising markets. TVA also owns several French-language specialty channels.
Our commercial printing subsidiary, Quebecor World, continued to expand its international network of printing plants. Quebecor World moved into digital technology and created a new subsidiary to operate all its digital and pre-media services. Quebecor World also developed an electronic supply platform for all its business centres; the resulting economies of scale were passed on to customers. The Company had a global organization, culture and vision. With the construction of its new printshop in Recife, Brazil, Quebecor effectively had operations in six Latin American countries. It was winning major long-term contracts in Latin America for the printing of magazines, books and directories.
With the acquisition of the printing assets of Hachette Filipacchi Médias in 2002, Quebecor World expanded its presence in European markets and moved into a new country, Belgium. In 2005, Quebecor World launched a major retooling and modernization program across its North American and European manufacturing platforms. In 2008, thanks to its new state-of-the art printing plants in Mirabel and Islington, Quebecor Media became Quebecor's only commercial printing arm as Quebecor World entered a restructuring phase that saw Quebecor shed its participation in the company.
- Quebecor sells its interest in Donohue to Abitibi-Consolidated.
- Quebecor World steps up its development in Latin America and Europe.
- A major new subsidiary, Quebecor Media Inc., is created.
- Quebecor acquires Vidéotron ltée and TVA Group Inc.
- The TQS television network is sold.
- CANOE and Netgraphe merge.
- Sun Media Corporation acquires Ontario-based Annex Publishing & Printing.
- Quebecor Media becomes sole owner of Videotron Telecom Ltd.
- TVA Group and Sun Media Corporation acquire Toronto television station Toronto 1 (Sun TV).
- ZIK.ca, Canada's first French-language music download site, is launched.
- Videotron becomes the first major Canadian cable company to offer cable telephone service.
- Quebecor Media acquires Sogides and becomes the largest publisher of French-language books in Canada
- Videotron launches wireless telephone service to become one-stop telecommunications and entertainment provider.
- Nurun makes acquisitions in China and Spain.
- Quebecor Media spends more than $200 million on construction of two state-of-the-art printing presses in the Montréal and Toronto areas.
- Quebecor adopts new logo.
- Sun Media Corporation launches 24 Hours newspapers in Edmonton and Calgary
- Quebecor Media becomes the largest newspaper publisher in Canada with the acquisition of Osprey Media
- Quebecor Media launches Mediapages, a subsidiary dedicated to all its print and online directory operations