Bell Media picks up Cogeco’s OOH arm

The media company has sold off Cogeco Metromedia five years after investing in the advertising network.

Cogeco Métromédia has a new parent.

The out-of-home business, previously owned by Cocego Inc., has been sold off to Bell Media, which already owns Astral Media.

Cogeco Métromédia, which specializes in traditional and digital public transit advertising, was added to the Cogeco radio division in 2011 with the intention of extending the company’s presence in the media industry, Daniel Dubois, VP, sales and marketing at Cogeco Diffusion, told MiC.

However, Dubois argues that smaller, regional players have a tough time competing in a increasingly-consolidated market leaving little growth options for regional suppliers.

The decision to put Cogeco Métromédia up for sale was made about six months ago but the actual deal with Bell Media happened over the course of a single month, says Dubois.

Cogeo bought the advertising business for $41 million in 2011 and although the company would not reveal the sale price to Bell Media, Dubois did say that the “transaction was profitable for the company.”

Cogeco’s president and CEO Louis Audet said in a statement that the sale was motivated by a need to focus on the media company’s radio segment and solidify its position in the market rather than by any negative experience in the out-of-home business.

Cogeco owns 13 radio stations in Quebec and has a 60% share of the listening market, according to Dubois. While there are no current plans to move out of its French-language market, the exec says that the company is open to opportunities in other Canadian markets. 

Meanwhile, the sale to Bell Media strengthens the media company’s OOH asset base by growing its Montreal portfolio. The map below, created using OMAC’s interactive mapping tool, shows the extent of the Cocego Metromedia properties in Montreal that include digital, street-level and subway signage across the city’s neighbourhoods.

Nine months after purchasing Cogeco in 2011, Métromédia Plus changed its name to Cogeco Métromédia and developed a new creative division Créa Mix to merge its radio expertise with its advertising network. At the time the company also announced plans to grow its digital network to cover the entire network of commuter stations in Montreal. While that did not happen, Créa Mix will remain with the media company and continue to develop mixed media (outdoor, radio and web) opportunities for advertising.


OMac interactive map