Manitoba court approves the BCE $3.9 billion acquisition of MTS

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Telecom’s largest deal of the year moves through yet another obstacle with ease as the Manitoba Court of Queen’s Bench issues the final order approving BCE’s acquisition of Manitoba Telecom Services.

The deal was first announced in May of this year and has since been privy to a review by the Competition Bureau, the approval of the shareholders of Manitoba Telecom Services, and as of today, has been approved in court.

“We are pleased to receive the approval of the Manitoba Court of Queen’s Bench for our proposed transaction with BCE. This builds on the overwhelming support we received from our shareholders last week,” said Jay Forbes, president and CEO of MTS, in a statement sent to MobileSyrup.

The Competition Bureau put out a notice seeking feedback on the transaction shortly after it was announced, though the results aren’t projected to come back until late 2016 or early 2017.

Following the review, the Manitoba-based provider’s shareholders voted almost unanimously to approve the BCE takeover. The completion of this transaction is still pending the review of the CRTC and the federal minister for innovation and economic development.

Specifically, the Manitoba Court of Queen’s Bench allowed the acquisition under the previously announced statutory plan of arrangement under section 185 of The Corporations Act, Manitoba, under which BCE will obtain all issued and outstanding common shares of MTS.

The conversations surrounding the deal debate whether residents will receive better services under BCE’s far vaster resources, or simply be subjected to higher prices upon the elimination of yet another telecom competitor.

Furthermore, BCE has committed to invest $1 billion into Manitoba’s telecom infrastructure over the next five years and has committed to sell one third of MTS contract wireless customers to Telus.

“With the final order in hand and our shareholder approval in place we look forward to working with BCE to secure the necessary regulatory approvals while continuing to highlight the compelling benefits the transaction has for our customers, our employees and the long term growth and prosperity of the Province of Manitoba,” said Forbes.

Related readingMTS shareholders ‘overwhelmingly’ approve proposed takeover by BCE