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Glentel sale to BCE caps decades-long history in mobile for family run business

Glentel CEO Tom Skidmore accepts the first ever Cantech Letter TSX Tech Stock of the Year Award from Editor Nick Waddell.

Shares of Burnaby-based Glentel (Glentel Stock Quote, Chart, News: TSX:GLN) have doubled today on news that the company had agreed to be bought by BCE for approximately $670-million.

For Glentel investors, the move caps a success story decades in the making.

Glentel opened its first Wireless Wave store in Burnaby’s Metrotown in 1997, and went on to open nearly 500 outlets under that brand, Tbooth Wireless, and Wireless etc.

In fiscal 2013, Glentel earned $4.62-million on revenue of $1.366-billion.

Glentel’s roots actually go all the way back to a New Westminster auto glass shop that was founded by the Skidmore family in 1946. In 1985, Glentel became the original service dealer to Rogers; a move that seems less unlikely when one recalls the mania and prestige that surrounded having an actual working phone in your car in those salad days of cellular. By 1989, the little glass shop was called TCG and it had just completed a purchase of a company called Glenayre Electronics, which it renamed Glentel.

CEO Tom Skidmore commented on today’s deal, which is expected to close in the first quarter of next year.

“As Glentel considered its future opportunities, it was essential that our partner share in Glentel’s core values of quality, service and integrity. Bell, who has been a long-time significant contributor to Glentel’s success, is that partner. We are delighted that Glentel, together with Bell, will continue to deliver legendary customer service to its customers and believe that this new relationship will provide additional value to our shareholders and employees.”

Under the terms of the deal, which has received unanimous approval from Glentel’s board, shareholder will receive either $26.50 in cash or 0.4974 of a common BCE share for each Glentel common share, a premium of 108% over Glentel’s closing price Thursday.

Investors today are clearly betting that the deal will get done. At press time, shares of Glentel were up 101.8% to $25.73.

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About The Author /

Cantech Letter founder and editor Nick Waddell has lived in five Canadian provinces and is proud of his country's often overlooked contributions to the world of science and technology. Waddell takes a regular shift on the Canadian media circuit, making appearances on CTV, CBC and BNN, and contributing to publications such as Canadian Business and Business Insider.
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