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Montreal company on the offensive!

 

http://affaires.lapresse.ca/economie/medias-et-telecoms/201605/02/01-4977110-bce-achete-manitoba-telecom-pour-39-miliards.php

 

(Winnipeg) Le géant canadien des télécommunications BCE a annoncé lundi l'acquisition de Manitoba Telecom Services (MTS) pour 3,9 milliards de dollars.

BCE acquerra l'ensemble des actions ordinaires émises et en circulation de MTS moyennant la somme approximative de 3,1 milliards et assumera l'encours de la dette nette d'environ 800 millions.

Les actionnaires de MTS pourront choisir de recevoir 40$ en espèces ou 0,6756 par action ordinaire de BCE pour chaque action ordinaire de MTS, selon la proportion de la contrepartie totale, qui sera composée à 45% en espèces et à 55% en actions ordinaires de BCE.

Le conseil d'administration de MTS a approuvé la transaction et recommande aux actionnaires de MTS de voter en faveur de celle-ci.

La clôture de la transaction est prévue pour la fin de 2016 ou le début de 2017.

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Toronto company on the offensive. Bell's complete C level, and almost 90% of their executive suite is based in Toronto. The only two people in Montreal is the VP Quebec and the CFO that splits his time between Halifax/Montreal

 

I think there's more than that, maybe not on the executive level but on the board members per example. Plus, Bell held their annual shareheolder general meeting at Palais des congres this year, a week or so ago. And I can also attest that there's a lot of movement of staff (of all levels) beetwen Toronto and Montréal which is a good thing for both cities, for Via rail and Air Canada, for corporate hôtels etc.

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What's really important is the center of power and the center of high paying jobs. The decision making power has been moved out of Montreal, to Toronto almost completely. Yes - Bell has a massive presence in Montreal and has thousands of employees based here. But in no means could one argue that the "siege sociale" is here in MTL - perhaps parts are, but not the center of decision making.

 

I understand the importance of the center of power which has shifted to Toronto with the arrival of Michael Sabia and then George Cope but it's not like it's 100% there and nothing here. This company, like many others (Air Canada, BMO, Via Rail, CN etc.) are considered more as eastern canadian companies and regardless of where the center of decision is, there's a huge volume of communication, travelling and businesses done beetwen both Montréal and Toronto (and Ottawa to a lesser degree).

 

Before Cope it was Michael Sabia and look where is now. Right here in Montréal. And before him it was Jean Monty, also located right here in Montréal. So for me, I don't see that as a Toronto vs Montréal situation like a hockey game but more like a eastern canadian company.The Bell's investment and sponsorship in Montréal is extremely important and a proof of the central position that the city plays in the company.

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