Rogers presents Xplornet as Freedom Mobile buyer in deal to Ottawa
Rogers CEO Tony Staffieri says he won’t comment on the matter
Rogers has reportedly presented the federal government with an offer to see Xplornet acquire Freedom Mobile.
As reported by the Globe and Mail, it’s now Ottawa’s job to determine if the deal is good enough to have Xplornet become the fourth-leading wireless service provider in Canada.
Owned by Shaw, selling Freedom Mobile is an essential feat for Rogers to gain favour with the government to approve the $26 billion merger.
Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry François-Philippe Champagne stated that Shaw couldn’t transfer its wireless business to Rogers last month, citing concerns about wireless affordability.
Various reports emerged in the weeks since, citing several parties keen on acquiring Freedom Mobile. Citing confidential sources, the Globe and Mail listed Xplornet as an interested party. Vidéotron was also rumoured to be a contender. But neither group publically acknowledged their position on the matter.
It was the opposite for a third interested party, Globalive. CEO Anthony Lacavera posted open letters stating Globalive would be the right company to move Freedom Mobile forward. He also conducted interviews with the media, including MobileSyrup. Lacavera founded Wind before it was sold to Shaw and rebranded as Freedom Mobile.
At Wednesday’s 2022 Q1 results conference call, CEO Tony Staffieri would not comment on news of the alleged offer. “We’re not going to comment on any rumours that are out there.”
He reiterated Champagne’s March comments, saying there’s an expectation of having a fourth wireless operator in Canada.
“He said what he said and we continue to work with the government to close the transaction, and that’s all I could really say at this time,” Staffieri said.
While it’s not clear what the details of the proposed offer are at this time, it is clear that things are moving the way Rogers wants them. Staffieri said the company is confident the merger will close in the second quarter of this year; a timeframe officials have been stating for weeks.
Source: The Globe and Mail