Cogeco directors spurn Rogers, Altice again in an exchange of accusatory letters

MONTREAL — Cogeco Communications Inc. and its parent company are accusing Rogers Communications Inc. and its American partner of using "bad faith tactics" in their attempt to buy the company without support from its controlling shareholder.

In a letter released two weeks after Rogers and Altice USA Inc. announced a $10.4 billion offer, Cogeco's lead director says they failed to disclose to the public that they'd already been flatly rejected the previous night.

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The Cogeco letter also alleges that the unsolicited offer was made public despite the rejection in order to put pressure on the founding Audet family, which controls a majority of the shareholder votes at Cogeco Communications.

Cogeco issued the letter in response to a joint letter from Rogers and Altice sent to Louis Audet, chairman of Cogeco's board and former chief executive of the company..

The CEOs of Rogers and Altice say the independent directors of Cogeco had failed to fulfil their duty to consider the proposal fully on behalf of all shareholders, not just the Audets.

Cogeco lead director James Cherry says in his reply to Rogers and Altice that all the proper steps were taken by Audet and the directors and they won't engage in a "futile exercise" that diverts attention from running the internet and cable business.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Sept. 16, 2020

Companies in this story: (TSX:RCI.B TSX:CCA)

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