Rogers sweetens offer for Cogeco with $ 3 billion investment commitment in Quebec

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Rogers Communications Inc. announced on Friday that it would invest up to $ 3 billion in Quebec if the telecommunications giant succeeds in acquiring the Canadian assets of rival Cogeco.

The Toronto-based company unveiled a series of measures to soften a deal to buy Cogeco’s Internet and cable TV business after it was rejected by the company’s largest shareholder earlier this month.

Rogers and Altice USA Inc. presented an unsolicited proposal to buy Cogeco, with the US company offering the company $ 10.3 billion and then selling the Canadian assets to Rogers for a cash consideration of $ 3.4 billion. of dollars.

“Rogers is deeply committed to the future of innovation and the knowledge economy in Quebec. We would be honored to help improve the customer experience and make new investments, including 5G, that will fundamentally reshape Quebec’s economic landscape, ”said Joe Natale of Rogers. Chairman and CEO, in a statement.

Rogers said it would spend $ 3 billion in Quebec, where Cogeco is based, over the next five years. Half of this investment would go to various investments in the network, including a large rollout of 5G wireless technology infrastructure as well as extending connectivity to rural communities. Rogers added that this would ensure that the combined business would employ 5,000 people while keeping Cogeco’s head office and management in the province, and would support several community partnerships.

A spokesperson for Cogeco told BNN Bloomberg in an email that Rogers is free to invest in Quebec, but does not need to buy Cogeco to do so.

“If Rogers does not invest, its competitors will take away its mobile customers, regardless of 5G,” the spokesperson said. “For Cogeco, the company remains focused on executing its strategy of profitable growth, investing in its advanced broadband networks and providing cutting-edge services to its customers.

Earlier this month, Cogeco’s independent directors rejected the takeover bid from Rogers and Altice, Gestion Audem, majority shareholder of Cogeco and investment vehicle of the Audet family, stating that it was not interested in selling her shares.

Analysts have also questioned the possibility of a deal coming through given the control of the company by the Audet family.



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