Media Capitals: Fonds de solidarite FTQ ready to look at the file

If the Fonds de solidarité FTQ were asked to participate as a financial partner in the revival of the Capitales Médias newspaper, it would be ready to look at the file.
“If the Fund were approached as part of a restructuring of the Capital Media Group, we would study the file, taking into account our socio-economic mission,” said Tuesday Patrick McQuilken, Senior Advisor for Media Relations and Communications to the Fund FTQ solidarity.

In an interview Tuesday, Mr. McQuilken did not want to indicate whether he had already had discussions to participate in the relaunch of one or more newspapers of the media group in financial difficulties.

However, he insisted that he “recognizes the importance of the media for Quebec and the regions”.

“Certainly the Fund has, in the past, demonstrated an interest in supporting the sector. And if we receive a file, we will analyze it in depth, “he said.

Moreover, the Solidarity Fund has already invested in the daily Le Devoir. His first investment in this newspaper was in 1993. “This is one of our oldest partnerships still in place. The Fund’s investment horizon as a provider of “patient capital” is five to seven, perhaps ten years. With Le Devoir, we are talking about 26 years, “he said.

Four missions of the Fund

Mr. McQuilken recalled that the Fonds has four missions, including those to safeguard or create jobs, as well as to participate in the economic development of Quebec. It must also prepare Quebeckers for retirement and contribute to the economic training of workers.

The issue of the revival of newspapers Capitals Media “could join three of four, if not four of the four components of our mission,” he said.

Of course, the Solidarity Fund does not manage the companies in which it invests. “The Fund has 3126 corporate partners, as of May 31, 2019, and we are the majority of four companies.”

“There must always be a strategic partner, someone who can operate the business. The best example I can give is the Montreal Canadiens. The Solidarity Fund is not behind the players’ bench. We have an operator, who is the Molson family, who knows the hockey business. We are in Le Devoir where there is a direction that knows how to operate Le Devoir. It’s the same for any other file: it takes people who know the environment, who know how to navigate the murky waters that the written media sector is currently going through, “concluded Mr. McQuilken.

The six dailies of Groupe Capitales Médias are clients of La Presse canadienne, namely Le Soleil de Québec, Le Droit of Ottawa-Gatineau, Le Quotidien de Saguenay, Sherbrooke Tribune, La Voix de l’Est de Granby and Le Nouvelliste of Trois-Rivières.

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