Rogers is set to acquire struggling wireless carrier Mobilicity for C$440 million, in a deal that has already been approved by government body Industry Canada.
The announcement comes after speculation emerged this week that both Rogers and Telus had submitted takeover proposals to the Canadian government for Mobilicity, which has been seeking a buyer for some time.
Mobilicity has been under bankruptcy protection since 2013, and Telus’ previous attempts to acquire the company have been blocked by the government. Ottawa has said on numerous occasions it did not want to sell the spectrum rich company to Canada’s larger players on anti competition grounds.
According to GSMA Intelligence, Bell, Rogers and Telus dominate the country’s mobile market with 8.1 million, 9.5 million and 8.3 million connections respectively, out of 29.6 million in total.
The acquisition, which Rogers said is still subject to approval by the competition Bureau and the court, “provides the best possible outcome for Mobilicity’s customers, dealers and employees”, claimed Anthony Booth, president of the company. “Rogers ensures certainty of service for Mobilicity customers, provides a great network, national coverage and high quality products and services.”
In a series of transactions announced today, Canada’s largest operator also said it will exercise the option to acquire rival Shaw’s unused AWS-1 spectrum, in a deal it first announced in January 2013, and divest other parts of AWS-1 spectrum to WIND Mobile as a result of the spectrum acquired from both deals.
Rogers will pay $100 million, in addition to down payments, for AWS-1 spectrum, as per the terms agreed with Shaw.
In a statement Rogers said it will now “immediately boost speed and quality for wireless customers in BC, Alberta and Southern Ontario.”
“We’re basically adding multiple lanes on our wireless highway in three key markets overnight,” said Guy Laurence, president and CEO at Rogers. “This means faster speeds and better quality for our customers as they use more and more mobile video.”