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Audet family rejects Altice offer to buy Cogeco

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Shady Salah – Media in Toronto

The family that owns controlling interests in both Cogeco Inc. and Cogeco Communications Inc. shut down an offer from Altice USA Inc. to buy the companies and split the assets with Rogers Communications Inc.

“The non-binding proposal of Altice USA and Rogers Communications Inc., which was pre-emptively announced today by Altice and Rogers, has been reviewed by Gestion Audem Inc., a company controlled by the members of the Audet family holding 69 per cent of all voting rights of

CGO which in turn controls 82.9 per cent of all voting rights of CCA,” Cogeco said in a release.

The release also said the bid “will be submitted to and reviewed by [Cogeco and Cogeco Communications’] boards of directors today.” Gestion Audem said that it “does not intend to sell its shares and will not support the proposal.”

Altice offered Wednesday to buy both companies for $10.3 billion in an all-cash deal that would have seen Cogeco shareholders receive a 30 per cent premium on a one-month volume-weighted average. Altice planned to keep Cogeco’s U.S.-based assets, which it had valued at $4.8 billion, and sell the Canadian assets to the Montreal telco’s second-largest shareholder in Rogers. The Audet family would have received $800 million for its ownership interests and voting shares if it had accepted the offer. The deal would give Altice all of the U.S. assets of Cogeco including Atlantic Broadband, a cable operator that provides services in 11 U.S. states.

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