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Audet family opposes Altice offer to buy Cogeco, sell Canadian assets to Rogers

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Cogeco was founded by Henri Audet in Quebec in 1957 and, like Bombardier Inc., it has remained under family ownership since. Henri Audet’s son, Louis Audet, ran Cogeco for 25 years before stepping aside in 2018 to become the executive chairman. The Audet family, however, maintained its majority ownership stake.

“We are pleased to present this very attractive offer for Cogeco, and are confident that Mr. Audet and the Cogeco boards will act in the best interest of all shareholders and fairly evaluate this offer,” Altice USA chief executive officer Dexter Goei said in a statement before the Audet family turned down the offer.

In a statement that was also published prior to the Audet family’s dismissal of the offer, Rogers said it planned to finance its acquisition of Cogeco’s Canadian assets, which it values at $4.9 billion, with existing cash reserves.

“Rogers is excited about the opportunity to expand its breadth of industry leading technologies and products to an additional 1.8 million homes and businesses,” Rogers president and chief executive Joe Natale said. “Under the stewardship of Mr. Audet, the Audet family, and the 4,500 Cogeco team members, Cogeco has built an iconic company in Canada and the United States.”

Cogeco’s stock was trading more than 20 per cent above its Tuesday close of $78.90 on the news of the offer. Rogers’ stock has also rallied, up more than seven per cent in early trading.

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