Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

Let's buy back MTS

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MTS Allstream CEO Pierre Blouin makes a call in front of the MTS building on Main Street.

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MTS Allstream CEO Pierre Blouin makes a call in front of the MTS building on Main Street.

Now that its national Allstream division has been sold, MTS is again a Manitoba company. By all reports, the company will be sold, most likely to a company with a head office elsewhere. This will result in a loss of thousands of high-level jobs in Manitoba.

The current Manitoba NDP government lobbied hard against the original sale of the Crown corporation while in opposition. Now would be the time for the government to right this wrong and buy MTS back. The price would be quite reasonable: about $2.5 billion (allowing for a 10 per cent premium over present market capitalization).

After deducting the approximately $1 billion received by Manitoba from the original sale, the net cost would be only $1.5 billion. And Manitoba would receive a nice, tax-free return of 4.8 per cent (based on current dividends paid by MTS).

DON MARTIN

Winnipeg

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition June 24, 2013 A8

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