Yesterday Rogers and Altice USA announced they would stand by their “very attractive offer” to acquire Cogeco Inc. and Cogeco Communications Inc. Today, Rogers is emphasizing it plans to expand and grow in Quebec, in what appears to ease concerns Cogeco’s headquarters could move outside of the province, if a deal were to go through.
“Upon successful completion of a Cogeco transaction, Rogers would ensure that Cogeco’s headquarters and management team remain in the province, including the operations of the company’s Quebec based media assets,” explains a Rogers press release.
Rogers says any acquisition would follow the model of its sub-brand Fido, when it purchased the latter 16 years ago and retained the company’s headquarters in Montreal.
“Rogers and Fido have deep roots across Quebec and we want to build on them. We’re passionate about driving Quebec’s digital future and have the scale, expertise and commitment to make it a reality,” said Joe Natale, President and CEO, Rogers Communications.
Rogers says along with Fido it employs nearly 3,000 people in Quebec across a variety of different jobs. The company outlined numerous milestones in the province such as marking 35 years as a company in Quebec, along with detailing numerous investments.
According to The Globe and Mail, an unnamed source said Altice USA approached Rogers to make a bid for Cogeco.
Quebec Premier François Legault opposed the Rogers deal earlier this week. “There’s no way [we’ll let] this Quebec company move its headquarters to Ontario,” he told Quebec City Cogeco station FM93, on Wednesday. “We’ll do everything we can to keep the head office here. It’s out of the question that we lose a head office as important as Cogeco.”
“Rogers is Cogeco’s largest long-term shareholder with deep roots in Quebec serving nearly 2 million customers. We support the value being created for all shareholders with this proposal. This is an opportunity to leverage the full weight of Rogers to make even more meaningful, long-term investments to benefit Quebec now and into the future,” said Robert Dépatie, Company Director, Rogers.
Both boards of Cogeco rejected the Rogers and Altice USA offer, along with the ruling Audet family.