Bell and CH Group become partners of Just for Laughs

Bell Media and CH Group confirmed on Thursday that they are joining the ICM Partners shareholder group and Howie Mandel in the acquisition of the Just for Laughs Group.

In May, La Presse reported that Bell and Evenko, owned by the CH Group, were aiming to hold 51 per cent of Just for Laughs together after a deal due to be announced in June. The value of the agreement was not specified.

In the press release issued on Thursday, the companies involved said that the "financial terms of the transaction will not be disclosed".

By selling a majority stake in Bell Group and Groupe CH to Groupe Juste Pour Rire, the company would become eligible for tax credits from the Quebec and Canadian governments. The new partners have also indicated that the head office of Juste Pour Rire will remain in Montreal.

A group of investors led by Canadian comedian Howie Mandel aquired the festival in March. Just for Laughs was put on sale in the wake of accusations of harassment and sexual assault against its co-founder, Gilbert Rozon, who was also the majority shareholder.

The new owners also include the American artist agency ICM Partners.

Evenko also produces the Montreal International Jazz Festival, which takes place just before the Just for Laughs Festival.