Telus gets court approval to buy struggling Mobilicity, awaits federal ruling

TORONTO – Telus Corp. has received approval from the Ontario Superior Court for its proposed $380-million acquisition of Mobilicity, a struggling rival that provides cellphone service in several major cities in three provinces.

The acquisition has also been approved by Mobilicity’s bondholders, but Industry Minister Christian Paradis is still reviewing the deal.

Telus said Tuesday that the court found the proposed acquisition can proceed under the Canadian Business Corporations Act.

“Following on last week’s vote in favour of the proposal by Mobilicity’s debtholders, today’s court decision takes us another important step closer to completing this acquisition, which will allow Telus to save the jobs of Mobilicity’s 150 employees and continue service for their 250,000 customers without the disruption that company’s current financial issues could cause,” said David Fuller, chief marketing officer for Telus.

At issue, though, is Mobilicity’s spectrum licence, which doesn’t expire until winter 2014.

Telus has said Mobilicity won’t be able to keep operating on its own until its spectrum licence expires and wants to be allowed to buy Mobilicity before the five-year expiry period.

Mobilicity currently provides no-contract cellphone service in Toronto, Ottawa, Calgary, Edmonton and Vancouver.

It was part of a new wave of small wireless companies launched after the last wireless spectrum auction in Canada to challenge Telus, Rogers (TSX:RCI.B) and Bell (TSX:BCE).