Rogers Communications and rival Shaw Communications announced plans to sell the latter’s Freedom Mobile business to Montreal-based telecoms and media group Quebecor for CAD2.8 billion ($2.2 billion), the latest bid to secure regulatory approval for a delayed CAD26 billion merger.
In a statement, Rogers Communications explained the various parties believe the agreement would allay concerns over the impact of the merger on the market raised by Canada’s Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry alongside its Commissioner of competition.
Rogers Communications claimed the Freedom Mobile transaction will ensure the presence of a “strong and sustainable fourth wireless carrier across Canada”.
The operators had placed the proposed merger on hold while they attempted to negotiate a settlement with the competition authority. The deal has been opposed by competition Commissioner Matthew Boswell. Should negotiations fail the matter will go to a tribunal for a final ruling.
Earlier this month, Canadian businessman Anthony Lacavera revealed his Globalive businesses offered CAD3.8 billion to Shaw Communications for Freedom Mobile, however local media noted Quebecor ultimately secured the unit.
Lacavera told The Globe and Mail he believes Rogers Communications accepted Quebecor’s lower offer because the wireless giant “is afraid to compete”.
Quebecor CEO and president Pierre Karl Peladeau stated the company’s Videotron subsidiary, “coupled with Freedom’s solid footprint in Ontario and Western Canada, can deliver concrete benefits for all Canadians”.
Rogers Communications noted the Freedom Mobile sale is conditional on regulatory approvals and would be completed “substantially concurrently with closing of the Rogers-Shaw transaction”.Subscribe to our daily newsletter Back