Rollout of popular Fibe TV service part of billion-dollar Bell MTS investment plan for Manitoba
MONTRÉAL, Dec. 20, 2016 /PRNewswire/ - BCE Inc. (Bell) (TSX, NYSE: BCE) welcomes the CRTC's approval of the transfer of the broadcasting distribution undertaking licence held by Manitoba Telecom Services Inc. (MTS) (TSX: MBT) to Bell.
"We continue to make progress toward uniting Bell and MTS as we work with federal regulators to complete the remaining transaction approvals," said George Cope, President and CEO of BCE and Bell. "Bell and MTS look forward to implementing our billion-dollar capital investment program to bring innovative broadband fibre and wireless services to Manitobans everywhere."
Expected to close in early 2017, the Bell MTS transaction has been approved by MTS shareholders, the Manitoba courts and the CRTC, and is subject to approval by the Competition Bureau and Innovation, Science and Economic Development (ISED).
Bell MTS broadband investment: Fibe TV and more
The CRTC's approval of the transfer of the terrestrial broadcasting licence will enable the rollout in Winnipeg and other locations of Bell's next-generation Fibe TV. A superior viewing experience that's driving real choice and competition in Canadian television, Fibe TV delivers exclusive innovations like Restart, Trending, wireless TV and Apple TV support that aren't available from traditional cable companies. Fibe TV's strong growth in Ontario, Québec and the Atlantic provinces has transformed Bell into Canada's largest TV service provider.
Bell announced the $3.9-billion MTS transaction on May 2, and a 5-year, $1 billion plan to roll out new broadband network infrastructure and next-generation services – including Fibe TV, Gigabit Fibe Internet and Canada's fastest LTE wireless services from Bell Mobility – across Manitoba.
Major Bell MTS infrastructure projects already announced include Fibe and LTE services for Winnipeg's unique "Innovation Alley" hub, advanced broadband services for the arctic port town of Churchill, continuous broadband wireless coverage along Highway 75 in southern Manitoba and along Highway 6 in the north to Thompson, and new broadband services for Flin Flon and remote indigenous communities.
Caution concerning forward-looking statements
This news release includes forward-looking statements and information (collectively, the "forward-looking statements") including, but not limited to: statements pertaining to our proposed appeal of the CRTC decision to reject the transfer of its Broadcasting Distribution Undertaking to Bell Canada (the Appeal); the statutory plan of arrangement under section 185 of The Corporations Act (Manitoba) pursuant to which, among other things, BCE Inc. (BCE) intends to acquire all of the issued and outstanding common shares of MTS (the Transaction); the expected timing of closing, and certain strategic, operational and financial benefits expected to result from, the Transaction; and other statements that are not historical facts. All forward-looking statements are made pursuant to the safe harbour provisions of applicable securities laws.
Forward-looking statements, by their very nature, are subject to inherent risks and uncertainties and are based on several assumptions, both general and specific, which give rise to the possibility that actual results or events could differ materially from our expectations expressed in or implied by such forward-looking statements. As a result, we cannot guarantee that any forward-looking statement will materialize and we caution you against relying on any of these forward-looking statements. The forward-looking statements contained in this news release describe our expectations at the date of this news release and, accordingly, are subject to change after such date. Except as may be required by Canadian securities laws, we do not undertake any obligation to update or revise any forward-looking statements contained in this news release, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise. Forward-looking statements are provided herein for the purpose of giving information about the Transaction and its expected impact. Readers are cautioned that such information may not be appropriate for other purposes.
There can be no assurance that the Appeal will be granted. The failure to grant the Appeal could have a negative impact on the completion of the Transaction. Completion and timing of the Transaction are subject to a number of conditions precedent and termination rights, some of which are outside MTS' control, including, without limitation, receipt of the regulatory approvals from the CRTC, the Competition Bureau and Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada (the Regulatory Approvals), the operation and performance of the MTS business in the ordinary course until closing of the Transaction, the absence of a material adverse effect, including no award being in force, which would result in a material adverse effect and no action being pending or threatened (other than frivolous or vexatious actions) against or involving MTS or its subsidiaries that, if decided against MTS or its subsidiaries, would result in a material adverse effect, and compliance by MTS with various other covenants contained in the arrangement agreement between MTS and BCE dated May 1, 2016, all of which are subject to important risks, uncertainties and assumptions. There can be no certainty, nor can MTS provide any assurance, that all conditions precedent to the Transaction will be satisfied or waived and that the Transaction will occur, or, if satisfied or waived, when they will be satisfied or waived. If the Transaction is not completed, the market price of MTS' common shares may be materially adversely affected. Moreover, a substantial delay in obtaining the Regulatory Approvals or the presence of an award or action that would result in a material adverse effect could result in a prolonged extension of the outside closing date. The Transaction could be modified, restructured or terminated. There can also be no assurance that the strategic, operational or financial benefits expected to result from the proposed transaction will be realized.
Canada's largest communications company, Bell provides consumer, business and government customers with a comprehensive and innovative suite of broadband wireless, TV, Internet and business communication services from Bell Canada and Bell Aliant. Bell Media is Canada's premier multimedia company with leading assets in television, radio, out of home and digital media. Founded in Montréal in 1880, Bell is wholly owned by BCE Inc. (TSX, NYSE: BCE). To learn more, please visit BCE.ca or Bell.ca.
The Bell Let's Talk initiative promotes Canadian mental health with national awareness and anti-stigma campaigns like Bell Let's Talk Day and significant Bell funding of community care and access, research, and workplace initiatives. Bell Let's Talk Day 2017 is January 25. To learn more and join the conversation, please visit Bell.ca/LetsTalk.
SOURCE Bell Canada