Birch Hill lobbies Canada on investment in wireless carriers

Wed Aug 14, 2013 5:17pm EDT
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* Private equity fund registers to lobby government

* Sources say Rogers backs Birch Hill bid to thwart Verizon

* BCE accuses Ottawa of arrogance

* Industry minister accuses Big Three of dishonest campaign

By Randall Palmer

OTTAWA, Aug 14 (Reuters) - Birch Hill Equity Partners Inc, a Canadian private equity fund, has registered to lobby Ottawa over investment in wireless carriers, lending credence to the idea it wants to buy two small wireless firms and elbow aside a possible move into the Canadian market by Verizon Communications Inc.

Sources have tipped Birch Hill as a possible bidder for controlling stakes in small players Wind Mobile and Mobilicity, two newcomers in the market, with financial help from market leader Rogers Communications Inc..

Birch Hill registered with the federal Registry of Lobbyists () on Aug. 8 with plans to lobby the prime minister's office and the Industry Department on the topic "Telecommunications Policy Framework with regard to investment in wireless carriers in Canada".

The Toronto-based fund was not available to comment on Wednesday.   Continued...