By Mary Lennighan telecoms.com
Canadian telco Rogers Communications is once again on the M&A trail, having brokered a deal to acquire rural telecoms provider Seaside Communications.
The Seaside deal has yet to be fully worked out and neither company has shared any information on a possible purchase price. The companies said they have signed a joint agreement that ‘would’ – slightly odd choice of word there – see Rogers take over its smaller rival.
“We will work over the next little while to finalize the agreement but don’t yet have an exact timing to share,” said Seaside, in a list of FAQs on the deal. “More details will be shared soon,” it pledged.
Whatever the value of the deal – and we may never know, given that Seaside is a private company –it will be a drop in the ocean compared with the Rogers’ ongoing C$26 billion (around US$21 billion) takeover of Shaw. Rogers announced the Shaw deal back in March and is currently working through the regulatory process, with Canada’s Competition Bureau, regulator the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC), and government agency Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada (ISED) all undertaking reviews amidst concerns that the transaction could have an adverse impact on competition.
Shaw is the closest thing Canada has to a fourth telecoms player to keep the big three on their toes; its business centres mainly on broadband and TV, but it also has a fairly small presence in the mobile market. What the regulators will make of the deal is tough to call at this stage, but it seems certain there will be stringent conditions added to it at the very least.
Rogers and Seaside are unlikely to face the same type of scrutiny.
Seaside does not share figures, but it’s clearly a much smaller outfit, providing TV and broadband services to rural communities across ten northeastern counties of Nova Scotia, in eastern Canada.