MTS solo with “disciplined approach” for Wireless Auction

As the Wireless Spectrum Auction approaches – with the mock ups being presented tomorrow – Manitoba Telecom Services Inc. (MTS Allstream), the Canada Pension Plan Investment Board and Blackstone
Capital Partners have announced the partnership they built will not be moving forward and have agreed to dissolve the consortium.

However, in true Canadian fashion MTS Allstream remains qualified to bid as a new entrant and intends to pursue a “disciplined approach” to the auction. MTS Allstream CEO, Pierre Blouin said, “MTS, the CPPIB and Blackstone continue to believe the business case for a new entrant in Canada’s national wireless market is sound, but at the end of the day we could not reach agreement on a handful of key issues. As we’ve indicated all along, if the right deal wasn’t there for us we wouldn’t pursue it. The same will be true at the auction, where we remain committed to taking a disciplined approach and maintaining both our current dividend policy and a strong balance sheet. We will see what the landscape looks like after the spectrum auction and review our plans accordingly.”

He added, “MTS is well-positioned to continue creating shareholder value, with or without a new wireless initiative. This is demonstrated by our strong first quarter results, our positive outlook for 2008 and the fact that MTS will continue to provide one of the highest dividend yields in Canada.”

Here is a full list of the qualified bidders for the upcoming Wireless Spectrum:

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