Bell Aliant has agreed to sell its Xwave information technology division for $40-million to its bigger sibling, Bell Canada, which will provide it with more opportunity to expand nationally.
It's the latest in a number of asset swaps over the years between the two subsidiaries of Montreal-based BCE Inc. , the country's largest telecom company.
In earlier transactions, Bell Aliant acquired some of Bell's local wire line phone businesses in parts of Ontario and Quebec outside of the main urban centres and Bell acquired Aliant's wireless business, an affiliate of Bell Mobility.
The Xwave transaction is expected to close on Jan. 1, 2011.
"We believe the time and opportunity is right for this transaction and by divesting Xwave now, Bell Aliant is able to further focus on our core priorities such as fibre-to-the-home, improve our balance sheet and ensure long-term value to our investors," said Karen Sheriff, president and CEO, Bell Aliant.
"We have known for some time that for Xwave to continue to expand nationally and grow profitability they needed access to scale. Combining with Bell gives Xwave access to a national market and additional IT capabilities they do not have today."
The companies said they'll work together to minimize the impact on employees, partners and customers.
"We are eager to welcome the skilled Xwave team, building on their excellent service to clients in Atlantic Canada, said Stephane Boisvert, president of Bell Business Markets.
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