Mayor buoyed by Cogeco plans to stay in Burlington, Oakville and Milton

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September 14, 2020 at 3:53 pm

Cogeco is not going to end up in the hands of Rogers, or anyone else.

Cogeco is not going to end up in the hands of Rogers, or anyone else.

So says Louis Audet of the family that owns controlling shares of the cable television and internet company that provides service to Burlington, Oakville, Milton and parts of Hamilton.

The statement follows news of a $10.3 billion share purchase takeover bid by Altice USA Inc, a large U.S. digital media group that intended to flip Cogeco’s  Canadian holdings over to Rogers Communications Inc.

In a recent letter to shareholders Audet said he wanted to provide “absolute clarity” in response to the hostile takeover bid.

“Our shares are not for sale,” said Audet. “And let me be clear, our refusal is not a negotiating position, it is definitive.”

That comes as welcome news to Burlington Mayor Marianne Mead Ward who also confirmed the company’s intention to stay put during a recent conversation with Audet.

“I spoke with Executive Chairman of the Board, Louis Audet on Friday, who reiterated to me that Cogeco has no intention to sell their controlling stake in the company,” she said in a statement. “He shared his family’s vision to continue their longstanding legacy of providing connectivity to the communities they serve.”

With Ontario headquarters in Burlington, Cogeco has operated in the area for more than 30 years. It employs 1,000 people and provides community access programming via YourTV.

“Their commitment to keeping our residents informed and engaged on local news and issues that matter to them adds great value to our community as does their history of philanthropic support for important local causes,” said the mayor who hosts her Burlington Matters program on the channel.

Mead Ward said she was encouraged by Audet’s commitment to the community and keeping his base of operations in Burlington.

Audet reminded shareholders in his letter that his father launched the company 63 years ago and that annual revenues now stand at $2.5 billion.

“The business is well-managed, growing, strategically positioned for the evolving and dynamic future of the telecommunications and media industries,” he said. “My family, in cooperation with our boards of directors and management team, takes great pride and satisfaction in our long-term vision for the continued growth of Cogeco and the ownership structure that makes this long-term vision possible.”

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