Bell Canada acquires Manitoba Telecom for $3.1 billion

Bell Canada acquires Manitoba Telecom for $3.1 billion

Bell Canada is to acquire regional carrier Manitoba Telecom Services (MTS) in a deal valued at $3.1 billion (C$3.9 billion).

The deal will see BCE acquire all issued and outstanding common shares of MTS for approximately $2.44 billion (C$3.1 billion) and assume outstanding net debt of approximately $630 million (C$800 million).

In order to finance the deal BCE will sell about a third of MTS’s postpaid subscriber base and retail locations to Telus in a separate transaction. 

In addition BCE is offering C$40 per share in cash or equity for MTS’ shareholders. The deal will combine the largest phone, internet and mobile company in Manitoba with the largest operator in Canada.

"Bell is excited to be part of the clear growth opportunities in Manitoba, and we plan to contribute new communications infrastructure and technologies that deliver the latest wireless, internet, TV and media services to residents and businesses throughout the province," said George Cope, president and CEO of BCE and Bell Canada. 

"Bell and MTS have a shared legacy of service and innovation that spans more than a century. We are honoured to join with the MTS team in this all-Canadian transaction to deliver the benefits of new infrastructure investment, technology development and the best of broadband communications to Manitobans."

As part of the announcement, Bell said it will invest C$1 billion in capital over five years after the transaction closes to expand its broadband networks and services throughout Manitoba.

“This transaction recognises the intrinsic value of MTS and will deliver immediate and meaningful value to MTS shareholders, while offering strong benefits to MTS customers and employees, and to the province of Manitoba,” said Jay Forbes, president and CEO of MTS.

“Now, enabled by Bell's national scale and commitment to broadband investment, Bell MTS will be very well-positioned to accelerate service innovation, customer support and community investment to the benefit of Manitobans like never before."

The deal is expected to be completed by early 2017. 

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