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Gesca Ltd., a subsidiary of Power Corp. of Canada, and Torstar Corp. have bought Bell Globemedia Inc.'s 40 per cent stake in the Workopolis job-search partnership for $115-million.

With the purchase announced Thursday, Gesca and Torstar increased their interests in the partnership to 50 per cent each.

Workopolis is an on-line careers and recruitment business formed by The Globe and Mail newspaper in 1998 as Globecareers.com. When Torstar joined in 2000, the business was renamed Workopolis. Quebec newspaper owner Gesca joined the partnership as a minority owner in 2002.

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"Since our arrival as a partner, we have seen Workopolis rise from a start-up operation to a national leader in the on-line job search and recruiting sector," Gesca president Guy Crevier said in a release.

"Our decision to increase our investment to 50 per cent reflects our confidence in Workopolis' ability to further strengthen its position as the Canadian leader in its field."

The deal valued Workopolis at $300 million. Gesca paid $86.25 million and Torstar $28.75 million of the $115 million cost.

"Building Workopolis has been Torstar's top digital priority," said Torstar president and CEO Rob Prichard.

"Torstar and Gesca are excellent partners to continue Workopolis' growth as we can draw on our market-leading newspapers in both Ontario and Quebec to support the growth strategy."

Shares in Torstar were ahead 18 cents at $17.84 in morning trading on the Toronto Stock Exchange. Power Corp. stock dropped 39 cents to $34.06.

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