On April 11, 2002, Bell Canada and Manitoba Telecom Services Inc. (MTS) agreed to combine the interests of Bell Intrigna and Bell Nexxia to create a combined company having approximately $1 billion in assets and approximately seven hundred employees. The restructured company, Bell West Inc., will operate under the Bell brand in Alberta and British Columbia and will be owned by Bell Canada, 60 per cent, and MTS, 40 per cent. It will focus on businesses in Alberta and British Columbia, providing a suite of highly advanced fibre-based data and Internet Protocol services, as well as the full spectrum of local and long distance voice services on a fully managed basis.
The transaction was structured by a contribution of Bell Nexxia’s western assets into Bell West and also involved the development of a new governance structure for the shareholders and a three-year business plan, together with a series of comprehensive commercial agreements, including intellectual property agreements, all providing a framework for the powerful new business relationship.
The Bell Canada team was led in-house by Tim McGee, chief legal officer, and Ruby Barber and Yves Caron; assisted by Davies Ward Phillips & Vineberg LLP in Toronto, with a team led by Richard Corley and assisted by J-P. Bisnaire, Paul Beauregard, Geoff Turner and Andrea Burke. Bell Intrigna (now Bell West) was represented by Harry Ludwig of Macleod Dixon LLP in Calgary.
MTS was represented in-house by Peter Falk, Q.C., executive vice-president, business development, general counsel and corporate secretary and Ellen Leibl, senior associate counsel; assisted by Aikins, MacAulay & Thorvaldson with a team led by Edward Warkentin and assisted by Carmele Peter, Richard Yaffe, John Braun, Michelle Redekopp and Jonathan Kroft in Winnipeg.