Nov. 5 (Reuters) – A Canadian court is set to deliver its verdict on which dueling councils and chairmen of Rogers Communications Inc (RCIb.TO) is legitimate, a dispute that has twisted the country’s largest wireless operator after a quarrel in the founding family came to light.
The judgment, expected around 5:00 p.m. ET (2100 GMT), could end the protracted battle in one of Canada’s largest business families, with interest spanning telecommunications, media and sports.
A rare public battle in Canadian business has been sparked over who should run the company and weighed on the stock, with some analysts questioning the fate of the C $ 20 billion offer (16.1 billion) from Rogers for rival Shaw Communications (SJRb.TO).
“As a shareholder, we would like to see the issue resolved and know who the CEO is and carry on,” said one of the top 20 shareholders who declined to be identified due to the sensitivity of the matter.
The shareholder said the stock had not had a chance to reflect the strong operating result due to the ongoing drama, although earnings momentum is expected to continue.
Rogers stock is up 0.8% so far this year, compared to 18.1% for BCE Inc (BCE.TO) and a 14.7% increase for Telus Corp (T.TO) during from the same period.
“Either (CEO) is likely to keep the momentum going right now and the deal with Shaw. It’s more just about removing the uncertainty of who is going to go.” occupy, ”said the shareholder, who believes the judge will rule in favor of Edward Rogers.
Both sides presented their cases on Monday, with lawyers for former president Edward Rogers arguing that he had the power to appoint a new board of directors without meeting shareholders in person. Lawyers for the company countered that due process was not followed when appointing a rival counsel. Read more
The crucial question for the judge is whether Edward Rogers, the son of late founder Ted Rogers, had the power to change the board of directors with just written consent. His lawyers argued that written consent is sufficient under the laws of British Columbia, where Rogers Communications is incorporated.
Edward Rogers is the chairman of the Family Trust, which controls 97.5% of the voting shares of the company, which his lawyers say gives him the power to do so.
But Rogers Communications attorney David Conklin told the court the late founder anticipated an impasse between the family trust and the board of directors, and specifically requested a public meeting to resolve it.
The dispute began after Edward Rogers attempted to oust Joe Natale as CEO of Rogers in September, which put him at odds with his mother and two sisters, who are directors of Rogers. Edward Rogers lost in the ensuing power struggle and was removed from his post as president of Rogers Communications.
But Edward Rogers formed a new board, leveraging his power as chairman of the Rogers Control Trust, which appointed him chairman. He then asked the Supreme Court of British Columbia to validate his list of directors.
($ 1 = 1.2461 Canadian dollars)
Reporting by Eva Mathews; Writing by Denny Thomas Editing by Marguerita Choy
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