Wind Mobile submitted a bid for smaller Canadian wireless carrier Mobilicity that’s about half the blocked C$380 million ($357 million) offer earlier this year by Telus Corp., a person with knowledge of the matter said.
Wind’s proposal was turned in this week before a bidding deadline closed, said the person, who asked not to be identified because the court-monitored process is private. Acquiring Mobilicity would help Toronto-based Wind secure more radio spectrum to tackle larger carriers Telus and Rogers Communications Inc.
Wind Mobile is stepping in after the Canadian government blocked Vancouver-based Telus’s offer, saying that airwave licenses set aside for new competitors shouldn’t end up in the hands of the large incumbents. Mobilicity’s assets have been up for grabs since September, when it was granted court protection from creditors.
Nick Anstett, a spokesman for Mobilicity, declined to comment on whether Wind Mobile had submitted a bid or say how many bids had been submitted. The bid-review process continues, and a decision could come any time in the next “several weeks,” Anstett said.
Industry Minister James Moore declined to comment on a potential acquisition of Mobilicity by Wind in a telephone interview today from Vancouver. Still, he said the government will seek to encourage competition in ruling on any proposed transfer of wireless spectrum between companies.
“We think the status quo is not providing Canadians with the degree of competition that we ought to have,” Moore said.
Alexandra Maxwell, a spokeswoman for Wind Mobile, a unit of Globalive Wireless Management Corp., declined to comment specifically on a Mobilicity bid.
“Like any other organization, Wind is always considering the options and evaluating any opportunities available to us,” she said.