Bragg Communications ready to renegotiate Bruce Telecom sale

Section: 
News

By Barb McKay

The owners of Eastlink are ready to return to the table to re-open talks about the sale of Bruce Telecom.

 

Mayor Anne Eadie announced during Kincardine’s council meeting last Wednesday that she had spoken with officials at Bragg Communications the previous Friday.

 

“They are interested in trying to renegotiate a deal if the issues with the Competition Bureau can be dealt with and some parameters can be worked around.”

 

Eadie reached out to the company after council approved a motion by councillor Laura Haight earlier this month to re-engage the company and look at what options might be available to reach a new deal in order to ultimately decide the future of Bruce Telecom.

 

Last Wednesday, Haight said the municipality needs to understand options like the possibility of excluding subscribers in Paisley and Port Elgin, where the Competition Bureau is concerned the sale could cause a monopoly. She said there also needs to be an understanding of what Bruce Telecom’s value is going forward and also if a dividend to the municipality would need to be deferred if the company was to expand its fibre optic network to the entire municipality, which would cost approximately $39 million.

 

Councillor Randy Roppel said one aspect of the situation that has been overlooked so far is the potential economic impact to the municipality from selling Bruce Telecom.

 

“We have employees who live here and spend money here and there will be a huge economic impact. This will not come with no strings attached. There will be strings attached.”

 

Councillor Maureen Couture pointed out that at this stage by re-opening talks with Bragg Communication the municipality is only looking at options.

 

“We’re still not making a decision folks,” she said.

 

Eadie said the next step will be to talk to Bragg Communication and the Competition Bureau and bring a report back to council.


Hands tied negotiations

How can the municipality effectively negotiate the best possible deal with Bragg Communications (or anyone else) for the possible sale of Bruce Telecom if they are not committed to making a deal? Bragg Communications like any potential buyer will not invest their time discussing if they get the impression the municipality is not prepared to accept a bonafide offer. We are shooting ourselves in the foot. In addition where is the board of directors during all of these talks? Shouldn't the board take the lead role in determining the viable options and then make their recommendation to council as to the best path forward? Am I missing something?

Well, the merger can make the

Well, the merger can make the company much bigger and effective to reach their goals.

David Morris