Bell to Acquire Mobile Phone Distributor Glentel for $670 Million
BCE and GLENTEL, today announced that they have entered into a definitive agreement whereby BCE will acquire all of the issued and outstanding shares of GLENTEL, the Canadian-based multi-carrier mobile products distributor.
Valued at approximately $670 million, the transaction enhances Bell’s strategy to accelerate wireless and improve customer service in a competitive wireless marketplace, while providing additional value to GLENTEL shareholders.
“GLENTEL is a remarkable Canadian success story, and over the past 25 years has been influential in driving the widespread adoption of mobile services in Canada, the United States and elsewhere internationally. As our longstanding partner, the GLENTEL team shares Bell’s commitment to wireless growth and service innovation, and we are proud to welcome them,” said George Cope, President and CEO of BCE Inc. and Bell Canada. “GLENTEL’s national reach, deep product knowledge, and great customer service and sales execution are key to our strategy to accelerate wireless.”
“As GLENTEL considered its future opportunities, it was essential that our partner share in GLENTEL’s core values of Quality, Service and Integrity. Bell, who has been a long time significant contributor to GLENTEL’s success, is that partner. We are delighted that GLENTEL, together with Bell, will continue to deliver legendary customer service to its customers, and believe that this new relationship will provide additional value to our shareholders and employees,” said Tom Skidmore, GLENTEL President and CEO.
Headquartered in Burnaby, BC, GLENTEL operates 494 retail locations across Canada offering wireless products and services from Bell Mobility, Chatr, Fido, Rogers Wireless, SaskTel and Virgin Mobile, and plans to continue offering products from multiple carriers following the acquisition. Outside Canada, GLENTEL owns, operates, and franchises approximately 735 retail locations in the United States, as well as 147 points of sale in Australia and the Philippines.
“There are clear growth opportunities ahead in Canadian wireless. This includes the significantly increased number of mobile customers with two or three year service contracts who will be eligible to renew their plans and change carriers over the next two years, a result of the federal wireless code of conduct implemented in 2013. Bell is ready to compete for their business,” said Wade Oosterman, President of Bell Mobility. “Supporting Bell’s commitment to deliver improved customer service, this transaction secures continued access for consumers to the convenient, high-quality customer experience offered by GLENTEL retail brands.”
Since 2006, Bell has invested approximately $7 billion to acquire new mobile 4G spectrum and build advanced wireless networks in every region of Canada. As a result, a re-energized Bell is regaining its leadership position in Canadian wireless with rapid customer adoption of smartphones and ongoing fast growth in data services like mobile TV.
Bell is rolling out the best wireless network technology available, 4G LTE, and now offers Canadians access to the largest LTE service footprint in the country. Available to 84% of the population, LTE coverage is growing fast as Bell extends the broadband service to smaller towns, rural communities and Canada’s North. By the end of 2015, Bell 4G LTE service will cover more than 98% of Canadians – similar to Bell’s existing 4G HSPA+ network. This summer, Bell was able to increase data speeds up to 45% across its LTE network for all smartphone users.
Bell’s ongoing strategic transformation is built on industry-leading investment in communications growth services, including wireless, TV, Internet and media. With over $3 billion in capital investment each year in new fibre and mobile networks, and more than $575 million in Canadian R&D annually, Bell invests more in Canadian communications infrastructure and service innovation than any other communications provider.
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