Mason Capital Management LLC asked a court to order Telus Corp. (T) to release details of shareholder proxy votes on a plan to merge the Canadian wireless carrier’s two stock classes that the investment company opposed.
Lawyers for New York-based Mason sought an order for Telus to deliver “unredacted copies” of the proxies, in a July 10 petition to the Supreme Court of British Columbia. Mason also said it raised its stake in Telus to 19.98 percent, without giving a previous figure. Jonathan Gasthalter, a Mason spokesman, declined to comment beyond the filing.
Telus announced on May 9 that it dropped the plan to convert all nonvoting shares into voting stock on a 1-to-1 basis, saying the proposal wouldn’t survive a shareholder vote. Mason used its stake to pressure Vancouver-based Telus to withdraw the plan because it would dilute the value of the voting shares the investment company had bought.
Some investors submitted proxies before Telus dropped the plan. Mason said it sought full results of those votes since the May balloting and received only edited copies of the proxies for voting shares and nothing for the nonvoting shares.
“We will oppose this filing,” said Shawn Hall, a Telus spokesman. “As this matter is before the courts we cannot comment further.”
Telus’s voting shares fell 1.2 percent to C$62.51 at 10:57 a.m. in Toronto. The non-voting shares, which have historically traded at a discount to the voting stock, declined 1.2 percent to C$61.26.
Mason had enlisted Blackstone Group LP (BX:US) to help sell a stake of about 20 percent in Telus Corp. and contacted 20 to 30 potential investors, a person familiar with the discussions said in June. The investment company was talking to strategic buyers in the industry, said the person, who declined to be named because the talks were private.
Telus wanted to boost the appeal of its stock as the carrier competes in Canada’s wireless market with BCE Inc. (BCE), Rogers Communications Inc. (RCI/B) and newer companies. Chief Executive Officer Darren Entwistle said in May after withdrawing the share plan that he remained committed to a 1-for-1 conversion and planned to introduce a new proposal “in due course.”
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