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Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Pierre Karl Péladeau to chair Hydro-Québec and help Quebecor seek National Hockey League team for Quebec City

Further to my post of 15 March 2013 (, on May 15 (a week after he leaves his role as president and CEO of Quebecor on May 8) Pierre Karl Péladeau will become chairman of the board and an independent board member of the Crown corporation Hydro-Québec, Canada’s largest power utility.  Mr. Péladeau reportedly asked for and received this prestigious new role from Quebec Premier Pauline Marois, whose office announced the appointment last week.

Macleans has already criticized the appointment as a nakedly political and partisan move by Ms. Marois’s party, the Parti Québécois.  Yesterday’s Montreal Gazette speculates that Mr. Péladeau’s ultimate goal is to become Quebec’s next premier.

His new role is expected to last five years and to save Hydro-Québec over $500,000 (since he has asked not to be paid, and his predecessor, Michael Turcotte, received $125,000 annually.)

Meanwhile Mr. Péladeau will also remain the largest shareholder of Quebecor Inc. (effectively retaining him control of the company that his father founded in 1950) and will also assume a new position as chairman of two Quebecor subsidiaries, Quebecor Media Inc. (QMI) and TVA Group.  He has also been named vice-chairman of the board at parent company Quebecor Inc., and will retain a mandate from Quebecor to seek a National Hockey League team for Quebec City. 
Additionally, Mr. Péladeau is back in the news for his part in an August news conference asking the federal government to disallow a proposed takeover of Astral Media Inc. by Bell Media, since despite opposition the takeover still seems to be actively proceeding.
Pierre Karl Péladeau’s Hockey Project
In 2011 Mr. Péladeau was reportedly instrumental in persuading Quebec’s former Liberal provincial government to commit up to $200 million toward a new National Hockey League-ready arena in Quebec City by offering additional tens of millions of dollars to support the project.  
Then In March 2012 he secured a deal with Quebec City to give Quebecor naming rights for the future arena and exclusive rights to manage the facility.
By the terms of the deal, if an NHL team is acquired, Quebecor will pay the city $63.5 million for naming rights, plus $5 million in annual rent for the arena. Without one, the company will instead pay $33 million for the rights and an average of $3.15 million annually for rent.
Quebec City lost its NHL team when the Nordiques relocated to Denver in 1995.  Although the new arena is expected to be complete by September 2015, no guarantee exists that the city will ever get a team back.
Links about Mr. Péladeau’s career: