Just For Laughs could be on the verge of being sold to American company

Founder Gilbert Rozon stepped down last October amid allegations of sexual misconduct


The Montreal-based Just For Laughs Group could be sold to American buyers, ICM Partners, unless Quebec media giant Quebecor exercises its right of first refusal over the next 12 days.

Just For Laughs has reached an agreement-in-principle with ICM Partners, according to Radio-Canada.

The relationship manager Anne Dongois of the firm Ad Communications confirmed that a tentative deal has occurred, but wouldn’t identify the potential buyers.

She said that the offer now puts the ball back in Quebecor’s court which “can take advantage of its right of first refusal.”

For now, there are therefore “two possible outcomes,” Dongois said — Just for Laughs will become the property of ICM Partners or it will become the property of Quebecor.

The move comes after Gilbert Rozon, the founder and former president of Just For Laughs, stepped down in October following accusations of sexual misconduct and assault.

As the majority shareholder, Rozon said he would sell his shares in the company.

However, a Quebec court determined last month that media giant Quebecor has right of first refusal, based on a 2012 partnership deal with the comedy festival.

In total, seven groups had expressed interest in buying the Just For Laughs Group.

In recent weeks, only two buyers were still in the running: ICM Partners and Katz Group, led by Alberta billionaire Daryl Katz.