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News | 09/20/2004 4:00 am EDT

White knight bid for Microcell by Rogers Wireless
Despite the prognostications of naysayers, Rogers Wireless Inc. and Microcell Telecommunications Inc. announced Monday that Microcell’s board of directors is recommending shareholders accept a $1.4-billion, all-cash takeover offer by Rogers. Rogers Wireless has agreed to purchase Microcell’s class A restricted voting shares and class non-voting shares for $35 per share. Further, Rogers has offered to purchase the 2005 warrants for $15.79 and 2008 warrants for $15.01 each. The deal is subject to the usual approvals. If completed, the transaction will vault Rogers Wireless into the top spot among Canadian cellcos, with over 5.1 million voice and data customers. Rogers Wireless intends to finance the purchase through cash on hand, by borrowing from its $700-million bank credit facility, and with a bridge loan of up to $900 million from parent Rogers Communications Inc. The move will surprise some analysts and observers who were convinced Rogers would need to take a breather after spending $1.8 billion to buy back its shares from minority shareholder AT&T Wireless Services Inc. The announcement will likely also be a nail in the coffin for TELUS Corp.’s unsolicited and stalled takeover offer. Network Letter affiliate publication Report on Wireless has been following the Microcell saga. For more information, visit http://www.decima.ca/reports and view the RoW archives.

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