Rogers Communication Inc. - President & CEO, Joe Natale
President & CEO, Joe Natale
Source: 660 News
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  • Rogers Communications (RCI.A) has unveiled its plans for a C$3 billion investment in Quebec should its bid to acquire Cogeco go through
  • This includes $1.5 billion in network investments as well as accelerated 5G coverage to 95 per cent of the province’s residents
  • The company said it would “honour Cogeco’s legacy” after it made an unsolicited takeover bid in partnership with NYSE-listed Altice USA
  • As part of an overall $10.3 billion deal, Rogers proposed to acquire the Canadian assets of Cogeco Inc. and Cogeco Communications for a gross price of $5.5 billion
  • Rogers Communications (RCI.A) is currently steady at $54.48 per share

Rogers Communications (RCI.A) has unveiled its plans for a C$3 billion investment in Quebec should its bid to acquire Cogeco go through.

The proposed five-year investment outlines $1.5 billion in capital expenditures to support network growth, as well as expanded rural connectivity and an accelerated rollout of 5G coverage to 95 per cent of the province’s residents.

The Toronto-based communications giant said it would also ensure that 5,000 jobs would remain in Quebec under a combined Rogers-Cogeco entity, and that Cogeco would continue with its Montreal-based headquarters, brand and President.

Joe Natale, President and CEO of Rogers Communications, said the company is deeply committed to the future of innovation in Quebec.

“We would be honoured to help enhance the customer experience and bring new investments including 5G that will fundamentally reshape the economic landscape of Quebec.

“This is about the future, and helping ensure that Quebec’s ambitions around innovation, connectivity, health and education advancements are fully realised,” he added.

Rogers’ commitment comes on the back of a failed takeover bid earlier this month in partnership with NYSE-listed Altice USA.

Under the terms of the proposal, Altice offered to wholly acquire the assets and business of Cogeco Inc. and its subsidiary, Cogeco Communications, for a total of $10.3 billion. Thereafter, Rogers said it would acquire Cogeco’s Canadian assets for a gross price of $5.5 billion.

Rogers has been angling for a more significant entry into the lucrative Quebec market for some years now, having been outdone by Quebecor in its bid to acquire Videotron back in 2000.

However, the controlling shareholders of Cogeco have repeatedly dismissed the offer, calling it “a futile exercise aimed at diverting the attention of management and key resources from our business operations while creating friction among our stakeholders.”

Louis Audet, President of Gestion Audem, which holds the majority stake in Cogeco, said in a September 7 statement that he and his family were not interested in selling their shares.

“I want to provide absolute clarity for stakeholders regarding our intentions in response to the recent unsolicited proposal to acquire Cogeco. Our shares are not for sale. And let me be clear, our refusal is not a negotiating position, it is definitive,” he concluded.

Nevertheless, Rogers isn’t backing down and appears resolute in its efforts to add increasing pressure on the Audet family and other major shareholders to reach a decision to sell.

Rogers Communications (RCI.A) is currently steady at $54.48 per share at 10:10am EDT.

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