Telus gets another chance to buy Canadian startup Mobilicity

April 18 Fri Apr 18, 2014 11:06am EDT

April 18 (Reuters) - Telus Corp, one of Canada's dominant telecom providers, has won another chance to overcome objections by the government to its takeover of struggling wireless startup Mobilicity.

Mobilicity announced late Thursday that it agreed to a new deal to sell to Telus for C$350 million and that a court-appointed monitor has recommended the transaction. The deal is still subject to government approval.

Mobilicity said it reached the deal after Telus submitted the only acceptable bid among five it received. The small company said it had solicited 25 organizations for proposals.

The government last year twice blocked attempts by Telus to buy Mobilicity on grounds the acquisition would create undue concentration of ownership of wireless spectrum. Under a deal blocked in June, Telus would have paid C$380 million.

Mobilicity has 165,000 active subscribers and offers lower-cost unlimited talk and text plans. It said in announcing the new deal that the Canadian market for commercial mobile services has changed since January with recent auctions of spectrum.

The proposed deal is supported by approximately 95 percent of the holders of the company's 15 percent senior unsecured debentures due in 2018, Mobilicity said.

Mobilicity, formerly known as Data & Audio Visual Enterprises, filed for court protection from creditors last year after running short of cash. (Reporting by David Henry in New York and Jeffrey Hodgson in Toronto; Editing by Marguerita Choy)

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