Wind Mobile's Lacavera eyes Mobilicity after Telus bid thwarted
By Alastair Sharp
TORONTO (Reuters) - Anthony Lacavera, the entrepreneur behind the launch of Wind Mobile, said on Tuesday his group is interested in buying Mobilicity after the Canadian government effectively blocked Telus Corp's T.TO bid for the small wireless company.
The possible combination of the two small wireless carriers would compliment Ottawa's push to boost competition in the telecommunications sector after the federal government on Tuesday, for the time being, effectively blocked large established providers from buying airwaves from struggling new players.
Industry Minister Christian Paradis earlier on Tuesday quashed the C$380 million ($367.34 million) bid from Telus, Canada's second largest wireless company by subscribers, for Mobilicity.
"Our past offers for Mobilicity stand and we look forward to having ongoing discussions with them," Lacavera, Wind's chairman and chief executive officer, told Reuters at a telecom conference in Toronto.
Lacavera is in the process of transferring his voting interest in Wind Mobile to Russia-focused Vimpelcom Ltd VIP.N, but maintains a minority economic interest.
He said Wind had done due diligence on Mobilicity around a year ago, and that the government's removal of ambiguity on who could buy the valuable spectrum assets wireless companies covet had reinvigorated his desire for Wind Mobile to grow into a significant fourth national carrier.
Canada's wireless industry is dominated by Telus, BCE Inc's Bell unit BCE.TO and Rogers Communications (RCIb.TO: Quote), which each have more than 7 million customers. Wind has about 600,000.
"What this does is give me and Vimpelcom a solid policy foundation to build a business plan. There was a lot of ambiguity, up until this morning," Lacavera said. Continued...