Rogers promises to keep Cogeco in Quebec after rejected acquisition proposal

The Toronto-based telecom made a case for the benefits the rejected Cogeco acquisition would bring to the province

On the heels of Rogers’ proposal to acquire Cogeco’s Canadian assets, the Toronto-based telecom reaffirmed its commitment to expand and grow its Quebec presence.

In a press release, Rogers outlined some commitments around the Cogeco transaction. That included promising to keep Cogeco’s headquarters and management teams in the province, as well as the company’s Quebec-based media assets.

Rogers pointed to its Fido acquisition 16 years ago as proof of its commitment to Quebec, noting it kept the Fido headquarters in Montreal at Place Bonaventure. The carrier says Montreal remains the home of Fido’s executive team, customer solutions centre and it employs approximately 3,000 people from Quebec.

“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 Rogers president and CEO Joe Natale in the press release.

“We are committed to investing in high-quality jobs, delivering both wireless and broadband next-generation technology and helping close the connectivity gap in rural and remote Quebec communities. Now more than ever, we want to grow our local presence here and help to contribute to a strong, vibrant Quebec.”

Rogers also cited a PwC study it commissioned last year. The study indicated Rogers’ investments and operations have a total economic footprint of more than $2.7 billion in Quebec and have generated and supported over 11,000 full-time jobs.

Rogers’ reaffirmed commitment to Quebec comes after the Audet family, which holds a controlling stake in Cogeco, rejected an “unsolicited” acquisition proposal from Rogers and U.S.-based cable company Altice USA. The deal would see Altice acquire Cogeco for $10.3 billion CAD, with an agreement to sell the company’s Canadian assets to Rogers for $4.9 billion if the acquisition was successful.

Quebec Premier François Legault also opposed the deal, vowing to prevent Cogeco’s headquarters from being moved out of the province.

Rogers and Altice responded to the rejection, saying the companies “presented a very attractive offer” and that they were “committed to pursuing the transaction.”