Canada’s largest telecoms group BCE has announced the successful completion of its privatisation of Atlantic Canadian subsidiary Bell Aliant and its integration into BCE’s nationwide Bell Canada operations. Bell Aliant’s common shares were delisted from the Toronto Stock Exchange (TSX) on 31 October 2014 and Bell Aliant preferred shares were delisted from the TSX on 3 November 2014. In July BCE announced it would delist Bell Aliant by acquiring the interests of public minority shareholders for a consideration of approximately CAD3.95 billion (USD3.50 billion), and the transaction has now formally closed as BCE completed a compulsory acquisition effective 31 October 2014 to take 100% of Bell Aliant common shares. Additionally, as a result of the amalgamation of Bell Aliant Preferred Equity Inc (Prefco), which was approved by preferred shareholders on 31 October and became effective 1 November, Prefco became a wholly owned subsidiary of Bell Aliant.
BCE also announced Dan McKeen as its new Atlantic regional leader and the appointment of former Bell Aliant director Robert Dexter to the BCE Board of Directors.
BCE plans to invest CAD2.1 billion across all four Atlantic provinces – New Brunswick, Newfoundland & Labrador, Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island – over the next five years in fixed and wireless networks for consumers and business customers. This includes continued deployment of mobile 4G LTE services throughout the region, with more than 100 small towns and rural locations to benefit from enhanced 4G mobile services by the end of 2015.
‘Bringing Bell Aliant fully into the national BCE organisation enhances our broadband growth and leadership strategy by aligning network capital investments, broadening our national service capabilities, and increasing our operational efficiency,’ BCE announced.