On May 31, 2000, shareholders of Rimouski, Quebec-based QuébecTel Group Inc. (QuébecTel) voted to approve the merger with Burnaby, British Columbia-based TELUS Corporation, which had been announced on March 31, 2000. The transaction will see TELUS acquire 70 per cent of QuébecTel and will create a major national telecom player.
The transaction will be all cash, and is valued at $582 million. TELUS will acquire the 49 per cent interest in QuébecTel held by the public shareholders and an interest of 20 per cent from Anglo-Canadian Telephone Company, a subsidiary of GTE Corporation of Stamfort, Connecticut, who had been the controlling shareholder of QuébecTel since 1966.
The transaction removes the foreign ownership regulatory restriction which had been limiting QuébecTel’s growth and will enable TELUS, the second largest telecommunications company in Canada, to accelerate its competitive entry into Quebec and to become a national telecommunications service provider.
Lise Bergeron, Jules Charette (tax), Christine Dubé and Nicolas Cimon of Ogilvy Renault’s Montreal office represented QuébecTel and worked closely with in-house counsel Dorothée Biron. P. André Gervais of Borden Ladner Gervais LLP acted for the independent committee of the Board of QuébecTel. TELUS retained a team of lawyers from the Montreal office of McCarthy Tétreault that included Daniel Bénay, Geoffrey Lawson (tax), Ilan Dunsky and Tracey Luttrell, who assisted TELUS’ in-house counsel Audrey Ho. Simon Romano of Stikeman Elliott (Toronto office) assisted GTE’s in-house counsel J. Goodwin Bennett while Michael Martin of Colby, Monet, Demers, Delage & Crevier (Montreal) acted for Anglo-Canadian Telephone Company. Thorsteinssons of Vancouver, led by Ian J. Gamble, provided tax advice to GTE.