* Mason to put guaranteed premium to vote Oct. 17
* Telus already announced Oct. 17 meeting
* Mason opposes one-for-one share consolidation
Aug 31 Telus Corp's largest investor said
on Friday it would send notice of a shareholder meeting to be
held the same day as the Canadian telecom company's own meeting.
Mason Capital Management LLC is locked in a bitter dispute
with Telus over the Vancouver-based company's revived plan to
consolidate its voting and non-voting stock on a one-for-one
The dual-class structure was introduced to comply with
restrictions on foreign investment in telecom companies after a
merger saddled Telus with a major U.S. holder, GTE, now Verizon
Communications Inc. Verizon has since divested.
Mason said it is calling its Oct. 17 meeting so holders of
voting shares can approve a guaranteed premium for their stock
in any consolidation.
The U.S. hedge fund, which held 19 percent of Telus's voting
shares as of March 31, requested a shareholder meeting in early
August, but the Telus board turned it down. Then Telus announced
its own meeting for Oct. 17.
For the second time, Telus is asking shareholders to consent
to a one-for-one consolidation. It says its proposal needs the
support of two-thirds of non-voting shares, but only a simple
majority of voting shares.
When Telus first proposed the change last year, it was
seeking two thirds of each class. With Mason planning to block
the proposal, Telus withdrew it in May.
Mason argues that voting shareholders paid more, on average,
for their stock than non-voting shareholders, and should be
rewarded for that as the two classes merge. Telus says universal
voting rights are consistent with good corporate governance.
Ahead of the first vote, Mason had borrowed a large number
of non-voting shares, and thus stood to benefit if their price
Telus and its two biggest competitors, BCE Inc's
Bell Canada and Rogers Communications Inc dominate the
Canadian telecom market.