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Birch Hill registers to lobby Ottawa on investment in wireless carriers

15 Aug 2013

communications antena tower full of dishes with sky backgroundPrivate equity firm Birch Hill Equity Partners has decided to lobby the Canadian government on investment in wireless carriers, fuelling speculation that it plans to acquire two wireless companies.

Birch Hill could bid for controlling stakes in small wireless companies Wind Mobile and Mobilicity with financial backing from Rogers Communications, sources told Reuters.

The firm has registered with Canada’s Registry of Lobbyists to lobby the price minister and the industry department on “telecommunications policy framework with regard to investment in wireless carriers in Canada,” according to the report.

US carrier Verizon has bid between $600m and $800m for Wind Mobile and is also in talks to acquire Mobilicity, said the sources.

Current competition regulations bar Canadian majors BCE, Rogers and Telus from buying the spectrum of Wind and Mobilicity, which are available for other bidders.

Birch Hill, which is based in Toronto, has C$2bn under management and 20 portfolio companies, which have combined revenues of C$4.7bn.

The firm targets mid-market companies valued at C$30m to C$600m.

Earlier this year Birch Hill acquired Canadian IT services company Softchoice Corporation in a take-private deal.

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