TORONTO (Reuters) - Canada’s three newest wireless operators have put themselves up for sale, with Mobilicity already in talks to sell out to Telus Corp, the Globe and Mail newspaper reported on Friday, citing unnamed sources.
The newspaper said Public Mobile, another privately held company that entered the country’s wireless industry after a 2008 auction, had hired investment bankers to find a buyer.
Vimpelcom Ltd has previously said it would consider various options, including divestment, for its Wind Mobile unit, the third new entrant.
The trio of smaller players have mostly used aggressive pricing of unlimited talk-and-text plans to challenge the established operators, with limited success.
Canada’s wireless sector is dominated by BCE Inc’s Bell, Rogers Communications Inc and Telus, which together command a 90 percent share.
Representatives of Telus and Mobilicity were not immediately available to comment on the report, which cited unidentified sources as saying a deal could value Mobilicity between C$350 million and C$400 million. Public Mobile was also not immediately available.
Wind and Mobilicity were beneficiaries of a federal government push for more competition in the sector, which had boasted some of the highest prices in the world, buying spectrum in 2008 that the biggest operators were barred from bidding on.
The conditions of that auction mean the companies are unable to sell the spectrum, seen as the most valuable asset they own, until early next year.
Reporting by Alastair Sharp; Editing by Jeffrey Hodgson and Lisa Von Ahn