Parti Quebecois Leader Pierre Karl Peladeau to put shares in fund

QUEBEC – Pierre Karl Peladeau, media mogul and leader of the Parti Quebecois, announced Thursday he will put his Quebecor Inc. shares in a fund to be run by three men, including a well-known businessman.

But Peladeau again made it clear his controlling stake in Quebec’s dominant media company cannot be sold.

The fund is far from the blind trust in which Peladeau’s political rivals have urged him to place the shares.

The PQ leader has steadfastly ruled out selling his shares in Quebecor (TSX:QBR.B), which was founded by his father Pierre and includes various properties, most notably Le Journal de Montreal, the TVA television network and the Videotron cable company.

He has not wavered from his position that he wants Quebecor to remain within his family’s control.

Peladeau was not available on Thursday but his spokesman said his position has not changed.

The mandate given to Claude Beland, a former president of the Mouvement Desjardins financial co-operative, as well as lawyer James A. Woods and businessman Andre P. Brosseau, “conforms to the former declarations of Mr. Peladeau (regarding not selling the shares),” said Bruno-Pierre Cyr.

Peladeau wrote on his Facebook page he has given Quebecor “the best management team and board of directors.

“I firmly believe those values will be maintained under the principles I inherited from the teachings of my father, Pierre Peladeau, the founder of Quebecor and a great builder of the modern economic Quebec,” he said.

Peladeau added he has signed a statement promising to not interfere with the editorial direction of Quebecor’s news properties.

The document will be relayed to Quebec’s ethics commissioner.

Peladeau said the mandate given to the three men still needs to be approved by federal telecommunications authorities.

Premier Philippe Couillard has previously said Peladeau must choose between business and politics while Coalition Leader Francois Legault has urged him to sell.