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Feb 15, 2017

BCE wins final regulatory approval for Manitoba Telecom takeover

BCE gets the greenlight from Competition Bureau on Manitoba Telecom deal

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BCE has won final approval for its $3.9-billion takeover of Manitoba Telecom Services.

"I told our board these opportunities really only come along once every hundred years...It took a long time to get to this point, to get the approvals, but it's very positive for BCE shareholders," said BCE CEO George Cope in an interview with BNN.

As part of a consent agreement with the Competition Bureau, BCE and MTS have agreed to sell some spectrum, six retail locations and 24,700 customers to Xplornet Communications.

The watchdog said that its review of the transaction indicated the purchase of MTS would reduce competition in Manitoba and could result in higher prices for consumers. 

BCE gains final approval for $3.9B Manitoba Telecom acquisition

BCE has won the final approval required for its $3.9-billion acquisition of Manitoba Telecom Service. BNN's Paul Bagnell reports.

“Given the findings of our review, any future potential mergers by Canada’s three largest mobile wireless providers, Bell, Rogers and TELUS, can expect to receive a close examination by the Bureau," said Competition Commissioner John Pecman in a press release.

BCE says the deal, which was first announced in May 2016, will close on March 17 and it's targeting an additional $100 million in cost savings.

"Immediately accretive to free cash flow, this transaction enhances Bell's successful broadband investment and innovation strategy while supporting our focus on delivering sustainable dividend growth to our shareholders going forward," said BCE CFO Glen LeBlanc in a statement. "We look forward to updating our 2017 BCE financial guidance targets to reflect the benefits of the MTS acquisition when we report our Q1 2017 results on April 26."

BNN is a division of Bell Media, which is owned by BCE.

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