Canadian telco Aliant is to be converted into an income trust which will see its own wireline operations combined with BCE’s rural wireline operations in Ontario and Quebec. It will also take a 63.4% stake in Bell Nordiq Income Fund, a northern fixed line operator. The new Aliant will have 3.4 million local phone lines and 400,000 high-speed Internet subscribers in six provinces, and though it will be headquartered in Atlantic Canada, it will be ultimately controlled by Montreal-based BCE. In return, BCE will transfer debt of CAD1.25 billion to the new trust, and BCE’s wireless division – Bell Mobility – will take over the 715,000 subscribers of Aliant Mobility. The share price of both Aliant and BCE rose on the back of the news.
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