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The MTS building in downtown Winnipeg.
The MTS building in downtown Winnipeg.
(Joe Bryksa/Canadian Press)

Despite the price, Allstream sale is the best possible outcome

Manitoba Telecom Services Inc.’s deal to unload its underperforming Allstream division after years of trying is a triumph of the art of making the best of a bad situation.

The asset was shopworn, having been on the block for years. The expected price was steadily dropping. First there was talk of $1-billion. Then $500-million. Then $300-million. Meantime, the Allstream division was sucking up cash and making investors wonder if MTS could sustain its dividend. In this space, I once argued that MTS should just give the division away if that is what it would take to get past the Allstream issue. Any price would be a good one.