TELUS not ready to give up on Mobilicity acquisition


Attempts by TELUS to acquire Mobilicity have been rebuffed by the Canadian government twice now. But it appears that TELUS is not quite ready to give up on its plans to take its struggling competitor over. TELUS CEO Darren Entwistle said in an interview on Friday that the situation remained “fluid.”

Entwistle again explained that the acquisition would be in the “best interests” of both the public and the carrier itself as it would ensure continuous service for its more than 189,000 customers and more than 100 employees.

A source has also told The Globe and Mail that TELUS’ share of total Canadian spectrum assets would only increase from 16 to 17 percent with the Mobilicity acquisition. If so, that could placate the government concern’s about spectrum concentration. Entwistle added that Mobilicity is not currently using some of its spectrum as it “extends well beyond the urban environments within which they operate” but that TELUS, with its more extensive network, would would be able to use it to help customers in non-urban areas. “I think that would also be a very customer friendly thing to do,” Entwistle said.

Mobilicity could be in a position to transfer spectrum licenses to a larger carrier as early as February 2014. TELUS may be back to try a third time then: “Maybe, you know, when it is February, the 700 [megahertz] auction will be behind us, the five-year moratorium will have formally expired. And if Mobilicity has truly exhausted looking for additional buyers and Telus is the only viable opportunity, and there are no other alternatives, then I would say the Telus solution … would be superior to the bankruptcy outcome,” Entwistle said.

Last month, TELUS acquired Public Mobile, a deal that was quickly approved by Industry Canada because the G-block spectrum used by Public Mobile is of  “significantly lesser value than other types of spectrum.”

Source : The Globe and Mail