BCE to acquire Manitoba Telecom
BCE Inc. (Bell) will acquire all shares of Manitoba Telecom Services Inc. in a transaction valued at approximately $3.9 billion.
“Welcoming MTS to the Bell group of companies opens new opportunities for unprecedented broadband communications investment, innovation and growth for urban and rural Manitoba locations alike,” says George Cope, president and CEO of BCE and Bell Canada.
“Bell is excited to be part of the clear growth opportunities in Manitoba, and we plan to contribute new communications infrastructure and technologies that deliver the latest wireless, Internet, TV and media services to residents and businesses throughout the province,” he continues.
Bell plans to invest $1 billion in capital over five years after the transaction closes to expand its broadband networks and services throughout Manitoba, including:
• integration of MTS’s Winnipeg data centre with Bell’s existing national network of 27 data and cloud computing centres;
• Gigabit Fibe Internet availability, delivering Internet speeds on average up to 20 times faster than those currently offered to MTS customers;
• the rollout of Fibe TV;
• accelerated expansion of the company’s LTE wireless network.
“We are very proud of what the MTS team has accomplished. Now, enabled by Bell’s national scale and commitment to broadband investment, Bell MTS will be very well-positioned to accelerate service innovation, customer support and community investment to the benefit of Manitobans like never before,” said Jay Forbes, president and CEO of MTS.
The combined company’s Manitoba operations will be known as Bell MTS in recognition of the powerful brand presence the MTS team has built across in the province. Winnipeg becomes Western Canada headquarters for Bell and, with the addition of MTS’s 2,700 employees, Bell’s Western team grows to 6,900 people.
The transaction is expected to close at the end of 2016 or early 2017.