Shareholders of Manitoba Telecom Service Inc. (TSE:MBT, Mkt cap 2.80B, P/E 56.41, Div/yield 0.32/3.45, EPS 0.67, Shares 74.20M) have approved its planned acquisition by BCE Inc. (TSE:BCE, Mkt cap 52.79B, P/E 19.13, Div/yield 0.68/4.51, EPS 3.16, Shares 868.62M), Canada’s largest communications provider, the two companies announced last week.
Bell has pledged to invest $1 billion in Manitoba in the five years following the acquisition. It has also said it will expand broadband wireless and fibre optic communications services in the province.
Initially, Bell and MTS intend to complete wireless coverage along Highway 75. The highway is a key transportation corridor linking Winnipeg and other Manitoba communities with the U.S. border.
Bell’s investment will also include the introduction of its Gigabit Fibe Internet service, offering internet speeds on average up to 20 times faster than those currently available to MTS customers; Fibe TV, its broadband television service; expansion of the company’s LTE wireless network, with average data speeds twice as fast as those currently available to MTS customers; and integration of the MTS Winnipeg data centre operations into Bell’s national network of 27 data hosting and cloud computing centres across Canada.
TSE:MBT – the deal was approved by an “overwhelming” 99.66% of the 43,098,172 votes cast.
“This strong support reflects the meaningful value that shareholders will receive as a result of this transaction, which also provides compelling benefits to MTS customers, employees and to the province of Manitoba,” commented Jay Forbes, president and CEO of MTS. “With these shareholder approvals in place, we will continue to work with BCE to secure the necessary regulatory approvals with a view to closing the transaction as expected.”
BCE Inc. is a Verdun QC based communications company. The Company provides residential, business and wholesale customers with a range of solutions to all their communications needs, including wireless, high-speed Internet, Internet protocol television (IPTV) and satellite TV, business Internet protocol (IP) broadband, and information and communications technology (ICT) services. The Company’s segments include Bell Wireless, Bell Wireline and Bell Media. The Company’s Bell Wireless segment provides wireless services that are available to virtually all of the Canadian population. The Bell Wireline segment includes voice and data network; high-speed fiber deployment, and bell direct to home (DTH) satellite television service. The Company’s Bell Media segment offers specialty and pay television, radio, digital media and out-of-home advertising. The Company, through Bell media, operates approximately 110 radio stations in over 50 markets across Canada. More from Reuters »
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