Rogers Exec Admits He’ll Get Paid $2 Million Bonus if Shaw Deal Completes
Rogers’s President of Integration, Dean Prevost, accidentally revealed during a Competition Tribunal hearing against Canada’s Competition Bureau on Thursday that he is set to receive a $2 million bonus if the company’s proposed $26 billion acquisition of Shaw Communications goes through — reports the Hanna Herald.
This figure had previously been confidential but slipped out during the hearing. Most of Thursday’s proceedings took place in camera, meaning away from the public eye, due to the confidential nature of Prevost’s work on the Rogers-Shaw deal. However, the revelation came in the portion that was open to the public.
Paul Klippenstein, a lawyer for the Competition Bureau, asked Prevost about his merger-related compensation but noted that he wasn’t sure if the information was confidential. “The amount of that award is $2 million,” Prevost had already said before Crawford Smith, a lawyer for Rogers, could interject and confirm that the information was indeed confidential.
“This is in public? Oh, great,” Prevost added when he realized the mix-up. He also told the Tribunal that he won’t get the bonus if the deal does not close.
Shaw CEO Bradley Shaw appeared before the Tribunal, which has convened to determine the fate of the company’s merger with Rogers, on Wednesday. He said the decision to give the company up was “extremely difficult” for the Shaw family, but it was the only option because Shaw doesn’t have the capital to “give customers the services and products they want.”
Shaw CFO Trevor English presented a similar narrative earlier in the week, telling the Tribunal that there’s no “viable path forward” for Shaw if the Rogers deal falls through.
In a witness statement filed on September 28, Prevost said the Rogers-Shaw union would even the wireline playing field against rivals Bell and Telus, who benefit from their long-running network-sharing agreement.
“If approved, the proposed transaction will allow Rogers to use Shaw’s wireline assets to create a robust, coast-to-coast network,” Prevost said in the statement. He added that the combination of Rogers and Shaw’s resources “will create Canada’s largest national wireline network.”
The Commissioner of Competition, however, maintains that a combined Rogers and Shaw would lead to higher prices and less competition in Canada’s already oligopolistic wireless market. Even the proposed sale of Shaw-owned Freedom Mobile to Quebecor’s Vidéotron hasn’t been able to sway the Bureau’s opinion.
The Bureau is the last of three regulators, including the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) and Innovation, Science and Industry (ISED) Canada, that need to approve the merger for it to go through.
Tribunal hearings to rule on the impasse between Rogers-Shaw and the Competition Bureau will last four weeks, with oral arguments scheduled for mid-December. A decision from the three-member panel overseeing the proceedings is expected in January.
Rogers and Shaw previously extended their mutual merger deadline to December 31, 2022, hoping to close the deal by that time. However, the telcos have room for a further extension up to January 31, 2023.