Canadian company sells off six Quebec newspapers

Gesca, the owner of Canada's largest circulation French-language daily, sold off its other holdings Wednesday, as it moves away from print and consolidates its flagship La Presse's digital edition (AFP Photo/Stan Honda)

Montreal (AFP) - Gesca, the owner of Canada's largest circulation French-language daily, sold off its other holdings Wednesday, as it moves away from print and consolidates its flagship La Presse's digital edition.

Gesca's six Quebec regional newspapers were sold to former federal cabinet minister Martin Cauchon.

His new company Groupe Capitales Medias acquires Le Soleil, Le Droit, La Tribune, Le Quotidien, Le Nouvelliste and La Voix de l'Est.

The sale price was not disclosed.

La Presse, meanwhile, is moving closer to its goal of eventually getting rid of its print edition altogether, and moving its subscribers over to the digital version.

The digital edition is offered free to readers, relying exclusively on advertising for revenues. It was launched in 2013.

Guy Crevier, chief executive of Gesca, which is a wholly-owned subsidiary of the influential Desmarais family's Power Corporation, said the digital edition's "financials look promising."

About 60 percent of La Presse's revenues now come from digital.

Crevier said La Presse would also seek to lease its proprietary platform for the digital edition to more newspapers around the world.

Canada's largest circulation newspaper, the Toronto Star, was the first to sign a deal to use it to launch its own interactive multimedia tablet edition coming in the fall.

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