After years biding its time, Rogers Communications Inc. is hoping Altice USA Inc.’s US$7.8 billion (C$10.3 billion) hostile bid for Cogeco Inc. will help it land the long-coveted, family-controlled telecom prize — but it’s not going to be easy.
Investors have long speculated that Rogers might be interested in buying up Montreal-based Cogeco. The Toronto-based telecom giant has held a minority position in much-smaller Cogeco for decades, instigated by the late founder Ted Rogers. If his intention was to work toward a takeover, those plans have been thwarted by the founding Audet family, whose holding company controls the voting shares and hasn’t wanted to sell.
A bid by Altice USA to buy Cogeco, and then sell the Canadian assets to Rogers, could offer a way to break the impasse. For $4.9 billion, Rogers would gain instant scale to Cogeco’s highly profitable broadband business, according to Bloomberg Intelligence analyst John Butler, while Altice would gain U.S. customers.
“The real rationale for the deal is acquiring over 800,000 broadband subscribers because of all communications businesses, broadband is one of the most profitable,” Butler said. That revenue will help Rogers offset rising programming costs on the paid television side of its business, he added.
The Audets, though, say they’re not interested. The family holding company, Gestion Audem, doesn’t support the proposal and doesn’t intend to sell its shares, it said in a statement Wednesday.
“As Cogeco’s largest long-term shareholder with deep roots in Quebec, Rogers supports the value being created for all shareholders with the significant premium in the Altice USA offer,” Rogers spokesperson Sarah Schmidt said in an email, adding that it expects Cogeco’s board will act in the best interest of all shareholders.
Quebec’s nationalist government, concerned about hollowing out of the corporate sector, isn’t convinced the deal is good for the province. “We are in discussion with the Audet family to ensure the headquarters will stay in Quebec,” Mathieu St-Amand, director of communications for Quebec’s economy and innovation ministry, said in an email. “It is important for our government that its headquarters aren’t moved to Ontario or the United States.”
Federal antitrust issues are a lesser risk, Desjardins analyst Maher Yaghi said in a report. While Quebecor Inc. may not want Rogers to own cable assets in Quebec, he doesn’t expect significant pushback from Canada’s Competition Bureau or the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission.
“We believe the convergence of wireless and wireline networks, as well as possible lower regulatory scrutiny in Canada post-pandemic, could create a favorable environment for the potential acquisition. However, we see meaningful deal risk at this point,” Yaghi said.
It’s not the first time Rogers has been part of a hostile play to gain a foothold in Quebec. In 2000, the company failed in a bid to acquire Quebec-based cable operator Videotron Ltd. Cogeco is a homegrown success story in French-speaking Quebec, founded in 1957 by Henri Audet from a single television station in Trois-Rivieres, which lies midway between Montreal and Quebec cities.
In the end, it may come down to price.
“The offer seemed to be about 8.5 times price-to-operating cash flow, that’s not exactly a rich valuation for taking out prime assets,” John Zechner, founder of J. Zechner Associates, which manages $1.2 billion in assets including shares of Rogers and Cogeco, said by phone. A more attractive evaluation could be somewhere between 8.5-12 times price-to-operating cash flow, but even that might not be enticing enough for the Audet family to let go of their controlling assets, he said.
“It now remains to be seen if Altice and Rogers will gain traction with their gambit, that may prove just an opening foray that might require further discussions around price and structure given that the Audet Family may not necessarily wish to receive proceeds entirely in cash,” Adam Shine, an analyst at National Bank of Canada, wrote in a note.
Cogeco shares closed 17 per cent higher Wednesday, while Cogeco Communications Inc. rallied 15 per cent, the biggest gain on record. Rogers advanced 4.7 per cent.
What you need to know about COVID-19 in Alberta on Sunday, Sept. 20 – CBC.ca
- No new numbers will be released by the province today. Numbers from Saturday and Sunday will be released on Monday.
- Alberta has identified its first likely case of COVID-19 transmission within a school, with two cases at an elementary school in Edmonton. Transmission within a school “was not unexpected and is not a cause for alarm,” said Dr. Deena Hinshaw, Alberta’s chief medical officer of health, at an early afternoon news conference Friday.
- Alberta reported 107 new cases of COVID-19 on Friday, bringing the total number of confirmed cases since the start of the pandemic to 16,381.
- There were 1,424 active cases across the province, according to the latest update, down 59 from the day before.
- As of Friday morning across the province, there have been 78 instances of someone with COVID-19 attending school while infectious. Currently, 57 of the 2,415 schools in Alberta have reported an infectious person who attended the school.
- The Alberta Teachers’ Association released a survey Friday outlining how teachers and school leaders feel about how the pandemic has been handled in schools.
- Alberta is starting to see a similar case load to Ontario and Quebec, which concerns experts because it has a much lower population. The number of new cases daily have gone up by about 55 per cent in the last month and the province is facing widespread community transmission.
- Across Canada, provinces say people are flouting provincial rules around gathering size limits, leading officials to impose new restrictions as COVID-19 infections climb across the country.
- With COVID-19 case counts rising in many communities, kids back in schools and more people returning to work, many public health experts agree that the “social circles” or “social bubbles” that worked as a safe approach in the early days of the lockdown now come with more risk.
- Alberta will no longer recommend asymptomatic testing for the general population with fall flu season looming.
- One new death was reported Friday, a woman in her 50s from the North zone not linked to any outbreak.
- A total of 255 people have died of COVID-19 in Alberta.
- As of Thursday afternoon, there had been 10 schools in Alberta classified as having outbreaks, with one Calgary school under a “watch” (defined as five or more cases where the disease could have been acquired or transmitted in the school) and the rest with fewer cases.
- The City of Edmonton announced Thursday it’s cancelling a mask exemption card program.
What you need to know today in Alberta:
Alberta said Friday that the province’s first likely case of COVID-19 transmission within a school had been confirmed, at a public elementary school in Edmonton, Waverley School.
Hinshaw said both individuals were infectious within the school and that one of them “seems to have been the source for the other.”
With the province’s school relaunch strategy weeks underway, the Alberta Teachers’ Association released a survey Friday that outlines how teachers and school leaders feel about how the pandemic has been handled in schools.
Alberta is starting to see a similar case load to Ontario and Quebec, which is concerning as the prairie province has a much lower population, said Dr. Stephanie Smith, an infectious disease expert at the University of Alberta in Edmonton.
For the first 15 days of September in Alberta, the province has reported an average of 137 new cases of COVID-19 per day. That’s up from an average of 88 cases for that same period in August, meaning that cases have gone up by about 55 per cent in the last month.
The province is also facing widespread community transmission of COVID-19, rather than the disease appearing in a few specific hotspots, like a long-term care facility, said Smith.
While some of the increase in Alberta cases could be attributed to more testing in September, with upwards of 30,000 people tested per day, these jumps in case counts are still concerning, said Smith.
With fall influenza season looming, Alberta will prepare for an expected surge in demand for laboratory tests by scaling back asymptomatic testing — the practice of conducting COVID-19 tests on people without symptoms, the province announced Thursday.
“In addition to potentially contracting COVID-19, Albertans will have a greater chance of catching a cold or flu, which have very similar symptoms to COVID-19,” Hinshaw said.
“More people with symptoms means that we will see more people needing to be tested. Our labs need to support cases of both COVID-19 and influenza.”
Hinshaw said those with symptoms who were in close contact with confirmed cases and those linked to an outbreak will still be tested.
Provincial labs completed 13,003 COVID-19 tests over the past 24 hours, the province said Thursday.
In Calgary, drop-in COVID-19 testing is now being provided at the Bow Trail assessment centre, which is located inside the old Greyhound bus terminal. The Richmond Road Diagnostic and Treatment Centre now offers COVID-19 testing by appointment only.
A Calgary teacher working at a public high school where a COVID-19 outbreak has been declared says he doesn’t feel safe at work because of the sheer number of people he comes in contact with each day.
“I feel that I have the most dangerous job as a teacher in the province,” said the Lester B. Pearson High School instructor, who CBC News agreed not to name because he fears professional retribution.
St. Wilfrid Elementary School in Calgary is the only school under the “watch” category, which Alberta Health defines as an outbreak with five or more cases where the disease could have been acquired or transmitted in the school.
There are also 12 schools in the province with outbreaks of two to four cases.
- Notre Dame High School, Calgary.
- Lester B. Pearson High School, Calgary.
- Henry Wise Wood High School, Calgary.
- Auburn Bay School, Calgary.
- Crescent Heights High School, Calgary.
- Chris Akkerman School, Calgary.
- Ross Sheppard High School, Edmonton.
- Centre High, Edmonton.
- McNally School, Edmonton.
- Waverley School, Edmonton.
- Chinook High School, Lethbridge.
- Foothills Composite High School, Okotoks.
The City of Edmonton is cancelling a mask exemption card program introduced in early August, interim city manager Adam Laughlin told council Thursday.
Cards already issued will be honoured, Laughlin said, but no new cards will be issued.
Here’s the regional breakdown of active cases reported on Friday:
- Calgary zone: 450, down from 470 on Thursday.
- Edmonton zone: 711, down from 751.
- North zone: 197, up from 193.
- Central zone: 24, down from 29.
- South zone: 38, unchanged.
- Unknown: 4, up from 2.
Find out which neighbourhoods or communities have the most cases, how hard people of different ages have been hit, the ages of people in hospital, how Alberta compares to other provinces and more in: Here are the latest COVID-19 statistics for Alberta — and what they mean
What you need to know today in Canada:
As of 10 a.m. ET on Sunday, Canada had 142,776 confirmed or presumptive coronavirus cases. Provinces and territories listed 124,187 of those as recovered or resolved. A CBC News tally of deaths based on provincial reports, regional health information and CBC’s reporting stood at 9,251.
The Quebec government is expected to announce new restrictions today, including reducing the size of private gatherings and imposing new restrictions on bars and restaurants in Montreal and Quebec City after an increase in COVID-19 infections.
Bloc Québécois Leader Yves-François Blanchet and his wife Nancy Déziel both tested positive for COVID-19. The party confirmed that both will be in isolation until the end of September.
Federal Conservative Leader Erin O’Toole also had a COVID-19 test come back positive on Friday and is now isolating.
Ontario public health officials say they can’t trace how roughly half of the latest COVID-19 patients got infected.
The data suggests that many Ontarians are contracting COVID-19 through unmemorable interactions with others in the course of their daily lives. Experts are worried that failing to track the source of so many new infections will hamper efforts to rein in the spread of the virus.
B.C, Alberta, Manitoba and Quebec have also all reported a bump in cases throughout September, and some have paused their reopening plans as a result.
Those under 40 are driving the spread in most provinces. In Ontario, health officials have identified smaller, indoor gatherings as the culprit. Younger people may also be working in precarious jobs where their exposure is increased, or where sick days may not be readily available.
Some of Canada’s biggest cities are seeing a surge in household waste thanks to myriad COVID-related trends, including the re-emergence of disposable goods, a summer full of home renovations and the continuous growth of online shopping.
Early figures from the cities of Vancouver, Calgary, Winnipeg, Toronto and Halifax reveal that the amount of residential garbage collected has increased significantly since the start of the pandemic.
Canadians yearning to travel abroad — despite the COVID-19 pandemic — can now get medical insurance to cover costs if they get sick with the coronavirus while travelling.
More than six months into the global pandemic, the Liberal government is being accused of failing to meet the needs of the Canadians with disabilities who are among those hardest-hit by the public health crisis.
Marie-Claude Landry, chief commissioner of the Canada Human Rights Commission, said COVID-19 has “expanded the circle of vulnerability” in Canada — but people with disabilities still aren’t getting the support they need.
Self-assessment and supports:
Alberta Health Services has an online self-assessment tool that you can use to determine if you have symptoms of COVID-19, but testing is open to anyone, even without symptoms.
The province says Albertans who have returned to Canada from other countries must self-isolate. Unless your situation is critical and requires a call to 911, Albertans are advised to call Health Link at 811 before visiting a physician, hospital or other health-care facility.
If you have symptoms, even mild, you are to self-isolate for at least 10 days from the onset of symptoms, until the symptoms have disappeared.
The province also operates a confidential mental health support line at 1-877-303-2642 and addiction help line at 1-866-332-2322, both available 24 hours a day.
Online resources are available for advice on handling stressful situations and ways to talk with children.
There is a 24-hour family violence information line at 310-1818 to get anonymous help in more than 170 languages, and Alberta’s One Line for Sexual Violence is available at 1-866-403-8000, from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m.
'A heartbreak': Ranchman's searching for new owner amid COVID-19 pandemic – Calgary Herald
Article content continued
“With everything happening and the Calgary downtown being almost completely empty, it’s created sort of the perfect storm for restaurant killing and hospitality killing.”
Ranchman’s has been synonymous with Calgary cowboy culture for nearly 50 years after it first opened its doors April 27, 1972.
The country nightclub was a popular spot during the Calgary Stampede and throughout the rest of the year, being named the “Country Club of the Year” by the Canadian Country Music Association 11 times.
The venue temporarily shut its doors due to the COVID-19 pandemic on March 17, and it has remained closed since. Nightclubs such as Ranchman’s are not permitted to reopen until Stage 3 of Alberta’s relaunch, and public-health officials have said there is currently no timeline for when that might happen.
The bar was founded by Harris Dvorkin and Kevin Baker but ownership traded hands in 2017, following Dvorkin’s death. Calgary bar scene mainstay Doug Rasberry purchased the property alongside a group of local business owners.
Members of the Ranchman’s ownership group did not respond to numerous requests for comment from Postmedia.
Campbell said owners were only talking to “a select few people” about the situation.
“This was a heartbreak for him. Doug (Rasberry) was the first guy, when I took Ranchman’s to the market three and a half years ago, Doug lit up like a kid at Christmas. He was so excited to have an opportunity to take this history on,” he said.
Calgary’s famous Ranchman’s country bar up for lease; iconic rafter saddles seized by bank – Global News
Ranchman’s Cookhouse and Dancehall in Calgary, a country bar known for its rafter saddles and mechanical bull, is up for lease.
The building that hosts the bar, at 9615 Macleod Trail S.E, has been listed publicly for the first time in its history.
It had initially been taken over by new owners in 2017 — when the former owners sold the business, but kept ownership of the building itself.
One concern is the iconic saddles that hang in the rafters have been seized by the bank, said realtor Rob Campbell.
Even though they don’t belong to the business owner, they’re being considered assets and are in the process of being seized.
Campbell said he’s received many calls with concerns from local members of the rodeo community over the loss of the history.
Ranchman’s opened in 1972, nearly 50 years ago.
It closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic on March 17 and has not reopened.
Nightclubs are part of Stage 3 of Alberta’s relaunch and are not permitted to be open in the province yet.
© 2020 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.
Zotac's RTX 3080 Trinity performance is apparently gimped on purpose – AltChar
Staff and patients part of outbreak at Foothills Medical Centre – 660 NEWS – 660 News
Pogacar rides to victory at COVID-defying Tour de France – Sportsnet.ca
Silver investment demand jumped 12% in 2019
Iran anticipates renewed protests amid social media shutdown
Richmond BBQ spot speaks out about coronavirus rumours Vancouver Is Awesome
- Tech16 hours ago
Sony apologizes for PS5 pre-order disaster — promises more stock soon – Tom's Guide
- Tech24 hours ago
Sony says more PS5 consoles are on the way for preorder
- Tech15 hours ago
PS5, Xbox Series X and Switch size comparison shows off just how big next-gen units are – VG247
- Science24 hours ago
A new study finds that an iceberg may not have sunk the Titanic
- Media21 hours ago
Media celebrates Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s life, legacy
- Tech18 hours ago
Sony Apologizes for Rough PlayStation 5 Preorder Mishap – HYPEBEAST
- Politics21 hours ago
5 ways the death of Ruth Bader Ginsburg will transform U.S. politics – CBC.ca
- Sports18 hours ago
Wolff takes lead into final round at U.S. Open – pgatour.com