Bell Media and Groupe CH Join Howie Mandel and ICM Partners in Just For Laughs Ownership Group

– Just For Laughs remains a Montréal-based company –

MONTRÉAL, June 7, 2018 /CNW Telbec/ - Bell Media and Groupe CH today announced the completion of an agreement to join ICM Partners, one of the world's largest talent agencies, and Howie Mandel in the acquisition of Groupe Juste pour rire, the comedy enterprise that produces the world's largest comedy festival in Montréal and numerous TV and live productions in Québec, across Canada, and around the world.

Just For Laughs remains a Montréal-based company backed by two key industry players: leading broadcaster and content creation company Bell Media and Groupe CH, which owns premier promoters and festival organizers evenko and L'Équipe Spectra, alongside the Montreal Canadiens Hockey Club, the Bell Centre, and other high-profile Montréal properties.

This year's Just For Laughs festival and French-language counterpart Festival Juste pour rire take place in Montréal from July 14 to July 29.

Terms of the transaction will not be disclosed.

"Just For Laughs is truly thrilled with this arrangement between our dream team of supporters," said Bruce Hills, COO, Just For Laughs. "Bell Media, Groupe CH, Howie Mandel, and ICM each bring a different skill set, and each is investing the time and other resources to ensure a bright future for the unique Just For Laughs experience."

"Just For Laughs is world-renowned as home to the funniest original content on any platform, featuring the best established talent in comedy alongside the rising stars of the future," said Gerry Frappier, President, French-language TV and RDS, Bell Media. "As Canada's leading content creation company, Bell Media looks forward to amplifying Just For Laughs via our broadcast and digital services, and is excited about working with ICM and Groupe CH to support the growth of Just For Laughs in Montréal, across Canada, and around the world."

"We're very pleased to partner with Bell Media, Howie Mandel, and ICM on Just For Laughs," said Geoff Molson, CEO of Groupe CH. "Together, our mission will be to ensure the continuation of a great cultural event for Montréal, one that puts Montréal in the international spotlight. We look forward to applying our experience to help further the success of the Just For Laughs festivals and artists into the future."

"Our goal from the outset was to find on the ground strategic partners who understand and appreciate both the 36-year history and deep cultural resonance that Juste pour rire/Just For Laughs has in Montréal and Québec," said Chris Silbermann, Managing Director, ICM Partners. "In Bell Media and Groupe CH we have found the perfect combination of best-in-class partners to help us build the festival locally and expand it nationally in Canada, digitally, and internationally. Along with our partner Howie Mandel, we are so excited to collectively roll up our sleeves and take the world's largest, best, and most-respected comedy festival to new heights."

Founded in 1983, Groupe Juste pour rire's growth is concentrated on three major focal points: festivals (in Montréal, Toronto, Vancouver and Sydney); television production and stand-up specials (most notably Gags, seen in 135 countries and on 95 airlines); and live shows (Canadian tour dates for Jerry Seinfeld, Jim Gaffigan, Bill Burr, Kevin Hart, Aziz Ansari, Jimmy Carr, Danny Bhoy, North American dates for John Cleese & Eric Idle and Family Guy Live! to name a few). Its inaugural Montréal Festival, which will celebrate its 36th edition in 2018, is the world's largest and most prestigious comedy event, welcoming more than 2 million people each summer. Groupe has offices in Montréal, Paris, Los Angeles, Toronto, and London.

Through its live entertainment divisions evenko and L'Équipe Spectra, Groupe CH is Canada's leading event promoter and festival producer, presenting over 1,500 shows yearly as well as major festivals like Osheaga Music and Arts Festival, Festival International de Jazz de Montréal, Francos de Montréal, HEAVY MONTRÉAL, îleSoniq, '77 Montréal, Montréal en Lumière, Nuit Blanche à Montréal and others. Groupe CH events attract millions of happy fans every year, hundreds of thousands of which come from outside of Quebec and Canada, generating tens of millions of dollars in economic windfalls for the community.

ICM Partners is one of the world's leading talent agencies. Many of the biggest hits in motion pictures, television, music, theatre and publishing were created on the page, on the stage, in front of and behind the camera, by the agency's clients. The company has the expertise of a legacy agency, with over six decades in the business, coupled with the entrepreneurial spirit of its agent owners who bought the company in 2012 and changed the name from ICM to ICM Partners. The firm has offices in Los Angeles, New York, Washington D.C., and London.

Bell Media is Canada's leading content creation company with premier assets in television, radio, out-of-home advertising, and digital media. Bell Media owns 30 local television stations led by CTV, Canada's highest-rated television network; 30 specialty channels, including TSN and RDS, Canada's most-watched specialty channels in English and French; and four pay TV services, including The Movie Network and Super Écran. Bell Media is also Canada's largest radio broadcaster, with 215 music channels including 105 licensed radio stations in 54 markets across the country, all part of the iHeartRadio brand and streaming service. Bell Media owns Astral Out Of Home with a network of more than 30,000 advertising faces in British Columbia, Alberta, Ontario, Québec, and Nova Scotia. Bell Media also operates more than 200 websites; delivers TV Everywhere with its CraveTV and GO video streaming services; operates multi-channel network Much Digital Studios; produces live theatrical shows via its partnership with Iconic Entertainment Studios; and owns Dome Productions Inc., a multi-platform production company. Bell Media is part of BCE Inc. (TSX, NYSE: BCE), Canada'slargest communications company. For more on Bell Media, please visit

For more information, please contact:

Just For Laughs
Charlene Coy

Juste pour rire
Anne Dongois

Groupe CH
Greg Kitzler
514 288-5299

Philip Vanden Brande
514 925-2005

ICM Partners
Brad Turell

Marie-Eve Francoeur



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