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Rogers Communications - President and CEO, Joe Natale - The Market Herald Canada
President and CEO, Joe Natale
Source: Altas
  • Despite a firm dismissal from Cogeco's controlling shareholders, Rogers Communications (RCI.A) isn't backing down from its proposed takeover
  • As part of an overall C$10.3 billion deal with Altice USA, Rogers has proposed to acquire the Canadian assets of Cogeco Inc. and Cogeco Communications for a gross price of $5.5 billion
  • In a statement released yesterday, Gestion Audem, the Audet family's holding company which owns a majority stake in both Cogeco Inc. and Cogeco Communications, said it would not support the offer
  • The proposal also prompted a response from Quebec's Premier François Legault, who said the transfer of Cogeco's head office to Ontario "is out of the question"
  • Rogers Communications (RCI.A) is currently down 0.017 per cent and is trading at $58.99 per share

Despite a firm dismissal from Cogeco's controlling shareholders, Rogers Communications (RCI.A) isn't backing down from its proposed takeover.

Rogers and NYSE-listed Altice USA submitted the offer earlier this week, under which Altice outlined its intentions to acquire Quebec-based Cogeco for an all-cash consideration of C$10.3 billion.

Following the transaction, Rogers said it would then acquire Cogeco's Canadian assets for a gross price of $5.5 billion.

However, the proposal was firmly denied the following day by a number of Cogeco's key stakeholders, including Gestion Audem, the Audet family's holding company which holds a 69 per cent interest in Cogeco Inc. and an 82.9 per cent stake in its subsidiary Cogeco Communications.

Louis Audet, President of Gestion Audem and Executive Chairman of Cogeco said members of the Audet family unanimously reiterated that they are not interested in selling their shares.

The unexpected takeover from Rogers and Altice also prompted a response from Quebec's Premier François Legault, who said in an interview with Quebec City radio station FM93 (CJMF) that it is out of the question to let Cogeco's head office move to Ontario.

"We talked this morning with Louis Audet. We speak regularly with Louis Audet, and we'll do whatever it takes to keep the head office here," he said.

Rogers has now issued a follow-up response in an effort to turn things around, saying it would ensure that Cogeco's headquarters and management team remain in the province, including the operations of the Cogeco's Quebec-based media assets.

The company cited a similar approach in its acquisition of Fido in 2004, noting that the Montreal-born mobile network operator continues to call the city home to its executive team and customer solution centre.

Joe Natale, President and CEO of Rogers Communications, said the company is passionate about driving Quebec’s digital future and that it has the scale, expertise and commitment to make it a reality.

"We are committed to investing in high-quality jobs, delivering both wireless and broadband next-generation technology and helping close the connectivity gap in rural and remote Quebec communities.

"Now more than ever, we want to grow our local presence here and help to contribute to a strong, vibrant Quebec," he added.

Rogers also drew attention to its history of supporting local communities, drawing attention to a number of sponsorship initiatives that have seen more than 100 scholarships awarded to Quebec's youth, as well as a recent $10 million charity donation in June designed to help those affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Rogers Communications (RCI.A) is currently down 0.017 per cent and i strading at $58.99 per share at 10:49am EDT.


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