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Mobilicity puts off key vote, pursues talks with ‘multiple parties’

A person uses a mobile phone while walking by a Mobilicity store in Toronto.

Michelle Siu/The Globe and Mail

Struggling wireless startup Mobilicity has put off a bondholder vote on a proposed recapitalization and says it's in talks with "multiple parties" on an acquisition plan.

"We are working diligently to reach an acquisition agreement and thank our customers, dealers, employees and partners for their continued support as we see this process through to its completion, Vaughn, Ont.-based Mobilicity's president and chief operating officer Stewart Lyons said in a news release Wednesday.

Mobilicity, legally known as Data & Audi-Visual Enterprises Holdings Inc., had scheduled a vote for Wednesday. It had already postponed the vote twice.

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According to sources, Mobilicity is in talks to be acquired by U.S. giant Verizon Communications Inc.

Mobilicity also said on Wednesday it's keeping open the option of a vote on a recapitalization plan.

Looking to expand outside the United States, Verizon has already made a $700-million offer for another Canadian startup, Wind Mobile; it is also mulling a possible bid in the forthcoming auction in Canada of wireless bandwidth.

Last month, Industry Minister Christian Paradis rejected a $380-million acquisition proposal of Mobilicity from Telus Corp.

The federal government wants to make sure there are at least four wireless carriers in every regional market in order to ensure more competition in a field dominated by BCE Inc., Rogers Communications Inc. and Telus.

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