October 30, 2013 9:03am
The Mobilicity soap opera just might be over.
Mobilicity has been looking for a buyer for a number of months. The only company to come forward was TELUS back in June with a $380 million bid, but Industry Canada shut down the idea and stated “spectrum set aside for new entrants was not intended to be transferred to incumbents. We will not waive this condition of licence and will not approve this, or any other, transfer of set-aside spectrum to an incumbent ahead of the five-year limit.”
Mobilicity, or any of the new entrants, cannot transfer spectrum until February 2015. Last week, Justice Frank Newbould of the Ontario Superior Court of Canada granted Mobilicity an extended “stay period” until December 20th to “secure the federal government’s approval for a proposed sale.” Rumours hinted that the talks between Mobilicity and TELUS were again active and a deal was near. However, according to the Globe and Mail, the government has once again dropped the hammer on any pending partnership:
“Industry Canada confirmed late Tuesday that it provided a confidential answer to Mobilicity about a potential transaction that the small carrier was trying to complete while under court protection from its creditors. Although Industry Canada would not comment on the substance of its response, sources confirmed that government officials turned down the proposed sale.”
There’s no word if Mobilicity has other buyers in the pipeline. Back in July the company noted that they’re “in discussions with multiple parties in connection with an acquisition.” In addition, Orestes Pasparakis, Mobilcity’s lawyers stated last week that “discussions are continuing… they are very active and very dynamic.”
Another hit to the company is Stewart Lyons, Mobilcity’s current President, will be departing the company on October 31st and will be replaced by Chief Customer Officer Anthony Booth.
Mobilicity currently has approximately 189,000 wireless subscribers.