MTS: Telecom service provider's highlights, history in Manitoba
Former Crown corporation has been based in Winnipeg for more than a century
Bell's acquisition of MTS marks the end of an era for the Manitoba-based company.
Bell Canada Enterprises announced Monday it has agreed to buy Manitoba Telecom Services in a whopping $3.9-billion deal, which the organization estimates will take the next nine to 12 months to wrap up.
MTS (previously known as the Manitoba Telephone System) has been in the Manitoba telecommunications business for more than 100 years. The organization evolved from a Crown corporation and telephone service provider in the early 1900s to the publicly traded television, wireless and internet service provider it is today.
MTS went through a series of notable change over the years.
In 1959, the company launched North America's first emergency hotline.
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In the winter of 1996, then-premier Gary Filmon and the Progressive Conservative government voted to privatize the company. The deal was controversial but was finalized in 1997.
Following a series of complaints about poor internet connections, in 2002 the company began replacing dated technology to improve the quality of network services offered in northern Manitoba.
MTS eventually sold Allstream in 2015 to U.S.-listed Zayo Group Holdings Inc. for $465 million cash.
In January 2014, the Supreme Court of Canada upheld a lower court ruling that a pension surplus of $43.3-million that existed when the former Manitoba Telephone System was privatized in 1997 "belonged to the workers and retirees and must be repaid," according to union leaders.
On May 2, 2016, Bell agreed to buy MTS for $3.9 billion.
With files from The Canadian Press