Bloomberg News

Blackstone Said to Contact Buyers for Mason's Telus Stake

June 06, 2012

Mason Capital Management LLC has enlisted Blackstone Group LP (BX:US) to help sell a stake of about 20 percent in Telus Corp. (T) and has contacted 20 to 30 potential investors, a person familiar with the discussions said.

Mason hired Blackstone in mid-May to help it dispose of its stake in Telus, Canada’s third-largest wireless carrier, the person said, declining to be named because the talks are private. The New York-based private-equity firm is talking to strategic buyers in the industry, according to the person.

Mason is trying to unload its Telus investment less than a month after using its C$1.9 billion ($1.8 billion) stake to force the Vancouver-based carrier to withdraw a plan to abandon its dual-class share structure. Telus said on May 9 that it dropped the plan to convert all nonvoting shares into voting stock on a one-to-one basis, after it became apparent the proposal wouldn’t survive a shareholder vote.

Telus wanted to boost the appeal of its stock as the carrier competes with BCE Inc. (BCE), Rogers Communications Inc. (RCI/B) and industry upstarts for a bigger stake of Canada’s wireless market. Chief Executive Officer Darren Entwistle said after withdrawing the proposal that he remains committed to a one-for- one share conversion and plans to introduce a new proposal “in due course.”

Telus plans to achieve a one-to-one stock conversion “regardless of what Mason Capital chooses to do with their holdings,” Shawn Hall, a spokesman, said today.

Dan Gagnier, a spokesman for New York-based Mason, declined to comment, as did Blackstone’s Peter Rose.

Telus’s voting shares fell 1.5 percent to C$59.53 at the close in Toronto. The shares have risen about 3.3 percent this year.

Mason’s plan to sell its stake was reported earlier by the Globe and Mail.

To contact the reporter on this story: Hugo Miller in Toronto at hugomiller@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Nick Turner at nturner7@bloomberg.net


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