Telus wins 81% shareholder approval for conversion plan

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Telus CEO Darren Entwistle says the result of today's shareholder vote "...exemplifies the principles of good corporate governance."

Telus CEO Darren Entwistle says the result of today’s shareholder vote “…exemplifies the principles of good corporate governance.”

Telus (TSX:T) this afternoon is reporting that its shareholders have approved a one-for-one share exchange which would swap the company’s non-voting shares for common shares. Telus says 81% of shareholders approved the proposal.

The ratification of the proposal is scheduled for a final court approval on November 5th.

Telus CEO Darren Entwistle said: “The outcome of today’s shareholder vote is distinctly positive for TELUS shareholders. Moreover, the result realized exemplifies the principles of good corporate governance and the fairness of shareholder democracy in Canada,” he said, adding: “We would like to express our gratitude to our shareholders for such strong support of our proposal. Shareholders made clear their desire to enhance shareholder value through improved trading liquidity and augment TELUS’ already excellent corporate governance by adopting a single class of widely held voting shares. Fundamental TELUS investor views dominated, prevailing over a self-serving hedge fund engaging in a troubling empty voting trading strategy, negative publicity campaign and multiple court challenges to try to defeat this proposal for their own profit.”

New York-based Mason Capital has argued that Telus’s plan was unfair and was seeking a higher conversion premium because Telus voting shares have historically traded higher than non-voting shares.

Mason Capital claimed it owned up to 20% of Telus stock, but Telus said because of recent shorting activity the New York hedge fund’s net economic ownership position was “a mere” 0.02 per cent.

Shares of Telus on the TSX closed today up .1% to $62.89.

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