BCE announced plans to acquire Manitoba-based MTS for $3.9 billion.
Pending all regulatory and shareholder approvals, the transaction is expected to close in late 2016 or early 2017. Today, the deal is one step closer to becoming a reality.
MTS had its shareholder meeting today and the consensus was “overwhelmingly” approved by a “significant majority of its shareholders.” According to the results, a whopping “99.66 percent of the 43,098,172 votes cast by Shareholders present in person or represented by proxy” approved the acquisition.
Jay Forbes, President and CEO of MTS, said “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. 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.”
“We are happy that MTS shareholders so clearly support the creation of Bell MTS and our plan to deliver the world’s best fibre and mobile broadband services to Manitobans,” said George Cope, President and CEO of BCE. “We look forward to working with the MTS team to complete the transaction, and to invest in the network and service innovations that will put Manitoba at the forefront of Canadian communications.”
As previously reported, if approved, the new carrier will be known as Bell MTS and will see an investment into the province of $1 billion over the next five years, and also make Winnipeg the Western Canada headquarters of BCE and Bell Canada.
The deal between the two carriers came together in just eleven days.
However, a recent report indicated that there are “high levels of concern” with the proposed takeover of MTS, with customers believing that their monthly wireless and internet price plans would increase and “usher in a market with expensive data caps in Manitoba.”