Skip to main content
The Globe and Mail
Support Quality Journalism.
The Globe and Mail
First Access to Latest
Investment News
Collection of curated
e-books and guides
Inform your decisions via
Globe Investor Tools
Just$1.99
per week
for first 24 weeks

Enjoy unlimited digital access
Enjoy Unlimited Digital Access
Get full access to globeandmail.com
Just $1.99 per week for the first 24 weeks
Just $1.99 per week for the first 24 weeks
var select={root:".js-sub-pencil",control:".js-sub-pencil-control",open:"o-sub-pencil--open",closed:"o-sub-pencil--closed"},dom={},allowExpand=!0;function pencilInit(o){var e=arguments.length>1&&void 0!==arguments[1]&&arguments[1];select.root=o,dom.root=document.querySelector(select.root),dom.root&&(dom.control=document.querySelector(select.control),dom.control.addEventListener("click",onToggleClicked),setPanelState(e),window.addEventListener("scroll",onWindowScroll),dom.root.removeAttribute("hidden"))}function isPanelOpen(){return dom.root.classList.contains(select.open)}function setPanelState(o){dom.root.classList[o?"add":"remove"](select.open),dom.root.classList[o?"remove":"add"](select.closed),dom.control.setAttribute("aria-expanded",o)}function onToggleClicked(){var l=!isPanelOpen();setPanelState(l)}function onWindowScroll(){window.requestAnimationFrame(function() {var l=isPanelOpen(),n=0===(document.body.scrollTop||document.documentElement.scrollTop);n||l||!allowExpand?n&&l&&(allowExpand=!0,setPanelState(!1)):(allowExpand=!1,setPanelState(!0))});}pencilInit(".js-sub-pencil",!1); // via darwin-bg var slideIndex = 0; carousel(); function carousel() { var i; var x = document.getElementsByClassName("subs_valueprop"); for (i = 0; i < x.length; i++) { x[i].style.display = "none"; } slideIndex++; if (slideIndex> x.length) { slideIndex = 1; } x[slideIndex - 1].style.display = "block"; setTimeout(carousel, 2500); } //

Shoppers walk outside the internet, television, home phone provider, Cogeco location in LimeRidge Mall in Hamilton on Sept. 2, 2020.

The Globe and Mail

Rogers Communications Inc. is vowing to keep Cogeco’s headquarters in Quebec if it is successful in acquiring its Canadian operations, after Quebec Premier François Legault said he wouldn’t allow the company to relocate to Ontario.

Rogers and New York-based cable company Altice USA Inc. went public on Wednesday with an unsolicited $10.3-billion offer to buy Cogeco Inc. and Cogeco Communications Inc. The proposed deal would see Altice snap up Cogeco’s U.S. network, Atlantic Broadband, while Rogers would acquire Cogeco’s Canadian arm, a unit with 1.8 million subscribers, for $4.9-billion.

The offer was promptly turned down by the Audet family, which controls the Montreal-based business, and independent directors at the two companies.

Story continues below advertisement

It also drew opposition from Mr. Legault, who said that losing a head office as important as Cogeco’s is “out of the question.”

“There’s no way [we’ll let] this Quebec company move its headquarters to Ontario,” Mr. Legault said during an interview Wednesday on Quebec City Cogeco station FM93.

In a statement issued Friday, Rogers said it is committed to expanding its presence in Quebec and would keep the Cogeco headquarters and management team in the province if it succeeds in its takeover attempt. Rogers currently has 3,000 employees in Quebec, including at its Montreal-based mobile carrier Fido, which it acquired in 2004.

“Rogers and Fido have deep roots across Quebec and we want to build on them,” Rogers president and chief executive officer Joe Natale said in a statement. The company pointed to its acquisition of Fido 16 years ago, which saw the mobile carrier remain headquartered in Montreal, as evidence of its commitment to the province.

A spokesperson for the Quebec Premier reiterated on Friday the importance of Cogeco’s head office for the province and said discussions between the government and Cogeco’s executive chairman Louis Audet are ongoing.

“Mr. Audet was clear in his intentions this week,” Ewan Sauves said in an e-mail.

Some business executives and observers based in Quebec say there was a certain naiveté in the way the offer by Altice and Rogers failed to address Quebec’s long-standing sensitivity to the prospect of losing its home-grown companies. The suitors should have moved forward more diplomatically and laid more groundwork to win support for their approach, they say.

Story continues below advertisement

“This was an offer whose aim was to get the Audet family to the negotiating table. But for it to be well-received, they could have added a bit of sugar to it. And that’s not what happened,” said Louis Hébert, a mergers and acquisitions specialist at Montreal’s HEC business school. “They’re in a bit of damage control now.”

Rogers had to make this commitment to the province, not only to salvage the bid but also to protect its own long-term reputation and standing in the province, Mr. Hébert said. “They have to make sure they don’t antagonize their existing mobile clients and other people who are already on their side.”

Under the proposed deal, the Audet family would receive $800-million for their multiple voting shares of Cogeco Inc., which, according to the company’s annual report, have a book value of $12-million.

Public shareholders would receive $106.53 per share of Cogeco Inc. and $134.22 per share of Cogeco Communications Inc. – a 30-per-cent premium to where the two stocks were trading prior to the offer being made public.

Rogers director Robert Dépatie, who once headed up communications company Quebecor Inc., said the takeover would provide long-term benefits to the province.

“This is an opportunity to leverage the full weight of Rogers to make even more meaningful, long-term investments to benefit Quebec now and into the future,” Mr. Dépatie said in a statement.

Story continues below advertisement

Your time is valuable. Have the Top Business Headlines newsletter conveniently delivered to your inbox in the morning or evening. Sign up today.

Your Globe

Build your personal news feed

  1. Follow topics and authors relevant to your reading interests.
  2. Check your Following feed daily, and never miss an article. Access your Following feed from your account menu at the top right corner of every page.

Follow the authors of this article:

Follow topics related to this article:

View more suggestions in Following Read more about following topics and authors
Report an error Editorial code of conduct
Tickers mentioned in this story
Due to technical reasons, we have temporarily removed commenting from our articles. We hope to have this fixed soon. Thank you for your patience. If you are looking to give feedback on our new site, please send it along to feedback@globeandmail.com. If you want to write a letter to the editor, please forward to letters@globeandmail.com.

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff. Non-subscribers can read and sort comments but will not be able to engage with them in any way. Click here to subscribe.

If you would like to write a letter to the editor, please forward it to letters@globeandmail.com. Readers can also interact with The Globe on Facebook and Twitter .

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff. Non-subscribers can read and sort comments but will not be able to engage with them in any way. Click here to subscribe.

If you would like to write a letter to the editor, please forward it to letters@globeandmail.com. Readers can also interact with The Globe on Facebook and Twitter .

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff.

We aim to create a safe and valuable space for discussion and debate. That means:

  • Treat others as you wish to be treated
  • Criticize ideas, not people
  • Stay on topic
  • Avoid the use of toxic and offensive language
  • Flag bad behaviour

If you do not see your comment posted immediately, it is being reviewed by the moderation team and may appear shortly, generally within an hour.

We aim to have all comments reviewed in a timely manner.

Comments that violate our community guidelines will not be posted.

Read our community guidelines here

Discussion loading ...

To view this site properly, enable cookies in your browser. Read our privacy policy to learn more.
How to enable cookies