Quebecor Inc. surged the most in more than four years after spending C$233 million ($210 million) to buy airwaves in a government spectrum auction that positions the company to become Canada’s fourth national wireless operator.
The Canadian government raised C$5.27 billion ($4.76 billion) from its auction of 700-megahertz spectrum as Rogers Communications Inc. paid heavily to secure new airwaves and Quebecor Inc. spent more to get a foothold outside its home market.
BCE Inc. and Rogers Communications Inc. are building cash reserves and making strategic acquisitions as Canada’s biggest carriers prepare to spend as much as C$1.8 billion ($1.8 billion) on an auction of wireless spectrum critical to their growth.
Rogers Communications Inc., Canada’s largest wireless carrier, reached a 12-year, C$5.2 billion ($4.9 billion) deal with the National Hockey League for broadcasting rights in the country starting in the 2014-2015 season.
Bets against Canada’s three biggest wireless carriers have surged ahead of a deadline for the country’s spectrum auction that may include interest from foreign carriers such as AT&T Inc. and Telenor ASA.
Telus Corp. , the wireless carrier that refinanced C$1 billion ($956 million) in debt to reduce interest payments, expects its competitors to do the same as they look to cut expenses and fend off new low-cost players.
Rogers Communications Inc., Canada’s largest wireless carrier, led a rally in the country’s telecommunications stocks on speculation that a Verizon Communications Inc. bid for its U.S. partner will reduce Verizon’s appetite for Canadian expansion.