BCE and Manitoba agree to separate

24 Sep 2004

Bell Canada Enterprises (BCE) has agreed to sell the bulk of its stake in Manitoba Telecom Services for CAD578 million (USD452 million) now that the two companies have become direct rivals for local, long-distance and internet customers following the latter’s purchase of Allstream in March. Manitoba will buy 7.5 million of BCE’s shares, cutting the latter’s stake in the company from 15.96% to 0.2%. BCE will use the proceeds primarily to reduce debt. The companies began separating from each other when Manitoba sold its Bell West Internet stake to BCE in February.