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Noah Zivitz

Managing Editor, BNN Bloomberg

|Archive

One down, two more (and arguably more daunting) regulatory hurdles to go for Rogers Communications, after the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission gave its conditional blessing to the $20-billion takeover of Shaw Communications. Its review was strictly focused on Shaw’s broadcast assets, and its approval requires Rogers to, among other things, bake in some safeguards to ensure independent broadcasters aren’t put at a disadvantage. Rogers and Shaw still require go-aheads from the Competition Bureau and the federal innovation department. We’ll have analyst reaction this morning, and will keep a close eye on Shaw shares today — which have traded at a discount to Rogers’ offer since the day the deal was announced.

U.S. LEADS PUSH FOR LNG IN EUROPE

The White House and European Commission this morning announced they’re forming a task force to bolster energy security in Europe as most of the world attempts to wean itself off Russian supplies. According a release, the U.S. is committing to work with other countries to boost Europe’s liquefied natural gas supplies by at least 15 billion cubic metres this year. And the EU said it will aim to ensure there’s annual demand among its members nations for an additional 50 bcm of U.S. LNG until at least 2030. Once again, this forces Canada to wonder what if a project like Pieridae Energy’s Goldboro hadn’t hit so many speed bumps. And we’ll point out here that BofA’s head of commodities research, Francisco Blanch, joins us shortly after 9 a.m.

LEARNING BRIDGING FINANCE’S FATE

An Ontario Superior Court justice is expected to decide today whether PricewaterhouseCoopers, which has been running the show at Bridging Finance ever since it was rushed into receivership almost one year ago amid alleged breaches of securities laws, can proceed with its plan to wind down the troubled lender. But some of the retail investors who plowed money into Bridging’s investment funds are crying foul over the process. David George-Cosh spoke with one of them; you can read his reporting here and stay tuned for updates from him throughout the day as the hearing unfolds.

OTHER NOTABLE STORIES

  • BRP sailed past profit expectations in its fiscal fourth quarter on the back of a 29-per-cent surge in revenue. And the recreational vehicle maker is forecasting profit for the current fiscal year that would exceed the average estimate, despite what CEO José Boisjoli cautioned in a release will be a challenging first half due to volatile supply chains. BRP also announced its Can-Am brand is returning to the motorcycle market with electric models. On top of all that, the company said it’s planning to repurchase up to $250 million of its shares.
  • Some encouraging news for Prince Edward Island’s agriculture industry; Minister Marie-Claude Bibeau announced in a release last night that the United States is going to restart imports of potatoes from the province. Exports were halted in November as U.S. regulators investigated a potato wart scare.
  • Bed Bath & Beyond is making peace with Ryan Cohen — the co-founder of Chewy and chair of GameStop, who has a stake of almost 10 per cent in Bed Bath. According to the release this morning, three directors proposed by Cohen’s RC Ventures will immediately join the retailer’s board. As well, two of those new directors are joining a committee tasked with exploring strategic alternatives for the company’s Baby business.

NOTABLE RELEASES/EVENTS

  • Notable data: Canadian manufacturing sales (flash estimate)
  • Notable earnings: BRP, Dentalcorp   
  • 900: Ontario Superior Court hearing on PwC's wind-down proposal for Bridging Finance
  • 1100: Ontario Premier Doug Ford and Deputy Premier/Health Minister Christine Elliott make announcement in Ottawa
  • 1245: Bank of Canada Deputy Governor Sharon Kozicki delivers speech at Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco event