Will the BCE and Astral deal ever go through?

by Andrew Roach on January 11, 2013

It’s being touted as one of the biggest deals ever in the history of the Canadian telecom industry but BCE’s planned takeover of Astral has still not come to fruition.

After the original deal was rejected by the CRTC, it’s been revealed that the deal is still trying to be pushed through by both parties.

The news was revealed by BCE’s CFO at an industry event earlier this week who commented on the state of the deal before the details of the id are revealed to the public in February.

BCE’s planned takeover of Montreal based Astral has ruffled some feathers as some believe that the takeover of two of the largest telecommunication firms in Canada would create unfair competition within the marketplace.

With the original bid’s rejection in place, the two companies have since re-negotiated the deal which both companies hope that the CRTC rule is both fair to them and rival companies.

When speaking at the industry event, BCE CFO Sime Vanaselja believed that everyone will see the deal will be beneficial to all those involved. In the stated, he said that “we try to address some of those concerns both with respect to tangible benefits and as well with respect to market share concentration.”

“Our expectation is that at that time, the regulator will set a date for what will be another public hearing, hopefully, an abbreviated hearing,” Vanaselja added.

There is quite a lot of speculation surrounding what has been changed to push the deal through but it’s thought that some of BCE’s assets will be sold off to try and soften Bell’s grip on the market and boos the chances of rival companies.

For Astral, the news surrounding the takeover has pushed business through the roof with the company posting their best results in 50 years for the last 3 months.

However, it’s not been all fun and games as rivals such as Telus consistently pointing the finger and lodging bids to prevent the bid from going through with the CRTC.

Several companies have already planned to boycott the deal and submit complaints to the CRTC but with the small print not being known to anyone outside the deal; it’s unknown what impact, if any this would have on the revised bid.

Either way, the merger of BCE and Astral is going to create a new telecommunications empire which could very well shake up the industry for years to come for better or worse.

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Written by: Andrew Roach www.digitcom.ca. Follow TheTelecomBlog.com by: RSS, Twitter, Facebook, or YouTube.

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