Rogers Communications Inc. has reached an agreement with Altice USA to purchase all of the Canadian assets of Cogeco Inc. and Cogeco Communications Inc. for $4.9 billion as part of a larger takeover bid.
Under terms of the deal, Altice USA would make an all-cash offer to purchase all outstanding shares for $10.3 billion, assuming control of Cogeco’s Atlantic Broadband operation in the U.S. – the country’s eighth largest cable operator serving more than 300,000 television service customers in 11 states. Cogeco purchased the company for $1.36 billion in 2012, since merging it with MetroCast networks and moving to acquire Connecticut broadband service provider, Thames Valley Communications, in January.
Rogers is the largest long-term shareholder of Cogeco and currently owns 41% of Cogeco Inc.’s outstanding subordinate voting shares and 33% of outstanding Cogeco Communications Inc. subordinate voting shares.
Should the proposed deal gain support, Cogeco Executive Chairman Louis Audet and members of the Audet family stand to receive an $800 million CAD payout for their controlling ownership interest.
“Given the position of the controlling shareholder, its support is necessary to complete a transaction, and as such the Altice USA offer includes a sizeable premium on those shares,” Altice said in a release.
Otherwise, Altice will pay $106.53 CAD per Cogeco Inc. share and $134.22 per share for each Cogeco Communications Inc. subordinate voting share.
Less the premium on the shares currently held by Rogers of $0.6 billion and the current value of Rogers’ shares of $1.5 billion, Rogers’ net cash consideration is $3.4 billion.
“Under the stewardship of Mr. Audet, the Audet family, and the 4,500 Cogeco team members, Cogeco has built an iconic company in Canada and the United States,” said Joe Natale, President and CEO of Rogers Communications, in a release. “This meaningful offer reflects the tremendous accomplishments of the Audet family and Cogeco’s employees. Rogers is excited about the opportunity to expand its breadth of industry leading technologies and products to an additional 1.8 million homes and businesses.”
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