Returns to normal levels as Mason appears to be exiting investment
VANCOUVER, Dec. 17, 2012 /CNW/ - TELUS' foreign ownership level is once again
consistent with the approximate 15 per cent level the company announced for
mid-November. Based on large reservation applications by non-Canadian
investors, likely primarily consisting of New York hedge fund Mason Capital,
TELUS' potential foreign ownership level briefly spiked to more than 30 per
cent at the end of November. These reservation applications have now expired
unfilled and therefore all requests by non-Canadians to purchase common shares
are being considered and approved, if they do not risk causing TELUS to exceed
the foreign ownership regulatory cap of 33 1/3 per cent.
TELUS believes Mason Capital temporarily borrowed or otherwise acquired TELUS
shares for a few days over the end of the month to avoid publicly disclosing
what otherwise would have been a significant reduction in its shareholdings in
TELUS. A similar pattern was observed at the end of October.
Mason previously filed on September 10, 2012 under the Alternative Monthly
Reporting System (AMRS) that it owned approximately 18.7 per cent of TELUS
Common Shares as of August 31, 2012. The AMRS only requires updated disclosure
within 10 days after the end of a month if an investor's position has
materially changed as of the last day of that month compared to their previous
position disclosed pursuant to the AMRS. In contrast, entities subject to the
usual early warning rules must normally file details of any material changes
in their trading position promptly after making the change and insiders
(including entities holding more than 10 per cent of TELUS' common shares),
must ordinarily file a report within five days of any change in their
position, giving investors critical information on a timely basis and ensuring
an open and transparent market.
The AMRS is intended to allow large but passive institutional investors - such
as pension funds - to avoid the extra workload of having to file daily reports
on their trades.
"Mason Capital's trading tactics appear designed to exploit the AMR system so
that they can hide their true position in TELUS shares," said Robert
McFarlane, TELUS Executive Vice-President and CFO. "It's a misuse of a tool
created for large passive investors whereas Mason has employed an activist
trading strategy to undermine TELUS' efforts to consolidate its share
structure. By using this disclosure system to avoid reporting their shrinking
holdings in TELUS, we believe Mason is hoping to create the illusion that they
are maintaining their investment position while awaiting the judgment of the
BC Supreme Court on their appeals against TELUS' application for a Final Order
to approve the share exchange plan of arrangement. Such a tactic is
consistent with an objective to maintain the largest possible spread between
our share class prices, while they continue to exit their remaining spread
widening trade position in order to minimize their financial loss."
TELUS noted several large trades at the end of October and again at the end of
November. Both times, TELUS saw an approximately corresponding increase in the
short common position. Subsequently, these trading positions were unwound
immediately following month-end. TELUS believes Mason was temporarily
increasing its ownership over the reporting period and thus avoiding reporting
that its actual ownership in TELUS has declined sharply as it exits its
position with as little financial loss as possible.
Forward looking statement:
This news release contains statements about expected future events of TELUS
that are forward-looking. By their nature, forward-looking statements require
the Company to make assumptions and predictions and are subject to inherent
risks and uncertainties. There can be no assurance that the share exchange
proposal will receive Court approval and, if not approved, the market price of
non-voting shares and/or common shares may decline given that share prices in
both classes increased on the announcement of the February proposal. Also,
there can be no assurance that a court decision will be released within
expected timelines or that there will not be further court challenges or
appeals. There can be no assurance that Mason Capital will exit its position
in TELUS. In addition, foreign ownership levels are based on estimates and
there can be no assurance that levels will not change. There is significant
risk that the forward-looking statements will not prove to be accurate.
Readers are cautioned not to place undue reliance on forward-looking
statements as a number of factors could cause actual future events to differ
materially from that expressed in the forward-looking statements. Except as
required by law, TELUS disclaims any intention or obligation to update or
revise forward-looking statements.
TELUS (TSX: T, T.A; NYSE: TU) is a leading national telecommunications company
in Canada, with $10.8 billion of annual revenue and 13.0 million customer
connections including 7.6 million wireless subscribers, 3.4 million wireline
network access lines, 1.3 million Internet subscribers and more than 635,000
TELUS TV customers. Led since 2000 by President and CEO, Darren Entwistle,
TELUS provides a wide range of communications products and services including
wireless, data, Internet protocol (IP), voice, television, entertainment and
In support of our philosophy to give where we live, TELUS, our team members
and retirees have contributed more than $260 million to charitable and
not-for-profit organizations and volunteered 4.2 million hours of service to
local communities since 2000. Fourteen TELUS Community Boards lead TELUS'
local philanthropic initiatives. TELUS was honoured to be named the most
outstanding philanthropic corporation globally for 2010 by the Association of
Fundraising Professionals, becoming the first Canadian company to receive this
prestigious international recognition.
For more information about TELUS, please visit telus.com.
For media inquiries, please contact: Shawn Hall TELUS Social and Media
Relations 604-619-7913 email@example.com
For investor inquiries, please contact: Darrell Rae TELUS Investor Relations
SOURCE: TELUS Corporation
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