Family that controls Cogeco rejects acquisition proposal from Altice USA and Rogers

The family is referring to the proposal as being 'unsolicited'


The Audet family, which controls Cogeco, says they are not interested in selling their shares following an “unsolicited” proposal from Rogers and Altice USA.

“Members of the Audet family unanimously reiterated that they are not interested in selling their shares,” said Louis Audet, president of Gestion Audem, the Audet family’s holding company, in a press release.

“The family takes pride in its stewardship role in both companies, offering high-quality services to its customers, enriching the communities in which they operate and creating superior returns for shareholders through sound growth strategies.”

Yesterday, Altice USA, an American cable company, tabled a $10.3 billion CAD bid for Cogeco. Altice USA had reached an agreement with Rogers to sell Cogeco’s Canadian assets for $4.9 billion to the carrier if the acquisition was successful.

Cogeco released a statement shortly after the offer was made public and revealed that the Audet family “will not support the proposal.”

The Audet family holds 69 percent of all voting rights of Cogeco which in turn controls 82.9 percent of all voting rights of Cogeco Communications. This means that without approval from the Audet family, the deal cannot go through.

Once Rogers and Altice USA went public with the proposal, Rogers CEO Joe Natale released a statement saying the carrier “is excited about the opportunity to expand its breadth of industry-leading technologies and products to an additional 1.8 million homes and businesses.”

The proposal has already been met with opposition from Quebec Premier François Legault, who has vowed to prevent Cogeco’s headquarters from being moved out of the province.

Update 09/03/2020 5:52pm ET: Altice and Rogers have released a statement regarding Cogeco’s response to the acquisition offer:

“We strongly believe that we presented a very attractive offer – one that would reward all Cogeco shareholders with a significant premium — and we stand by that offer. We remain committed to pursuing this transaction and are open to engaging with shareholders and the boards in a constructive dialogue.”

Source: Gestion Audem