Rogers and U.S. company bid to purchase Cogeco, Audet family declines offer

The agreement is conditional upon successful acquisition of Cogeco by Altice USA

Update 02/09/20 11:50pm ET: The Audet family, which controls Cogeco, has indicated that it does not intend to sell its shares and will not support the proposal.

“The non-binding proposal of Altice USA and Rogers Communications Inc., which was pre-emptively announced today by Altice and Rogers, has been reviewed by Gestion Audem Inc., a company controlled by the members of the Audet family holding 69 percent of all voting rights of CGO which in turn controls 82.9 percent of all voting rights of CCA. Gestion Audem Inc. has already indicated that it does not intend to sell its shares and will not support the proposal,” the company stated in a press release. 

The original story is below.

Rogers has confirmed its agreement with Altice USA to purchase Cogeco’s Canadian assets for a net purchase of approximately $4.9 billion CAD.

The agreement between Rogers and Altice USA, which is an American cable television company, is conditional upon successful acquisition of Cogeco by Altice USA.

Altice USA has detailed an offer to purchase Cogeco for $10.3 billion CAD and take over its Atlantic Broadband operations in the U.S., and then sell the Canadian assets to Rogers. Rogers’ transaction is conditional upon completion of the terms laid out in Altice USA’s offer.

“Rogers is excited about the opportunity to expand its breadth of industry leading technologies and products to an additional 1.8 million homes and businesses,” said Rogers CEO Joe Natale in a press release.

“Under the stewardship of Mr. Audet, the Audet family, and the 4,500 Cogeco team members, Cogeco has built an iconic company in Canada and the United States. This meaningful offer reflects the tremendous accomplishments of the Audet family and Cogeco’s employees,” Natale continued.

The Toronto-based national carrier is the largest long-term shareholder of Cogeco as it owns 41 percent of the outstanding CGO subordinate voting shares and 33 percent of outstanding CCA subordinate voting shares.

“Under the terms of the agreement with Altice USA, Rogers will be entitled to receive the premium offered by Altice USA to all subordinate voting shareholders,” Rogers notes in a press release.

“As a result, the net consideration to be paid by Rogers for the Canadian assets of Cogeco reflects a gross price of $5.5 billion, less the premium on the shares currently held by Rogers of $0.6 billion, less the current value of Rogers’ shares of $1.5 billion, for a net cash consideration of $3.4 billion.”

Rogers and Altice USA say they are confident that if the offer is accepted, the transaction will receive all required regulatory approvals on a timely basis.

Altice USA anticipates closing the transactions within six to nine months after signing definitive agreements.

Quebec Premier François Legault has expressed opposition towards the proposal and vowed to prevent Cogeco’s headquarters from being moved out of Quebec.

Source: Rogers, Altice USA

Update 02/09/20 1:00pm ET: The headline was updated to reflect clarity and developments in the story.