Mason Capital Management LLC (“Mason”) today issued a public statement to the shareholders of TELUS Corporation (TSX: T; TSX: T.A; NYSE: TU) in response to misleading statements included in a research report recently issued by Canaccord Genuity. The report incorrectly states that TELUS could remove the voting rights associated with Mason’s voting shares of TELUS in order to remedy a failure by TELUS to meet the Canadian ownership requirements.
Contrary to the report, if TELUS were in breach of the Canadian ownership requirements, it would not be in a position to single out Mason's voting shares to resolve its compliance problem. TELUS has issued reservation numbers to Mason in respect of all of Mason's voting shares, and all such shares are registered in the official allocation of shares established by TELUS under its foreign ownership control procedures for ownership by non-Canadians. TELUS has thus formally recognized Mason's right to hold such shares as a non-Canadian.
If TELUS is in violation of the Canadian ownership requirements that limit the percentage of voting shares owned by non-Canadians to 33.3%, it is because there are other non-Canadian holders of TELUS voting shares who have not complied with TELUS' control procedures. Based on information contained in the Broadridge reports submitted by Globalive in support of its application to the CRTC and the foreign ownership declarations in the proxies submitted to TELUS in connection with its recent shareholders meeting, it appears that there may be a substantial number of such non-compliant foreign shareholders.
Michael E. Martino, Managing Director of Mason Capital, said, “This is a serious concern for all TELUS shareholders. Rather than diverting attention away from the real issue by making distracting and disparaging remarks about Mason, TELUS should focus on its duties to shareholders and promptly disclose whether there are, or may be, a significant number of non-compliant foreign shareholders. To the extent that there are non-compliant foreign shareholders, we urge TELUS to immediately inform the market as to how it intends to address this problem.”
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