Distributel Acquires Primus, Bringing Even Greater Value to More Canadians

Combination is greater than the sum of its parts, enabling increased innovation and enhanced product offerings to Canadians from coast to coast

TORONTO – January 19, 2021: Distributel Communications Limited is proud to announce that it has acquired Primus Telecommunications, one of Canada’s largest independent telecom providers. This investment brings together the strength of two prominent Canadian telecom companies to build an even stronger brand – offering residential, business and wholesale telecommunications services across the country.

“Bringing Primus into the Distributel family will mean more options, increased innovation and better value for Canadians and ultimately a better alternative for our country,” says Matt Stein, CEO of Distributel. “We are thrilled to bring Primus under Canadian ownership and accelerate the pace of growth for both companies.” Distributel has been 100% Canadian-owned since its founding in 1988.

Greater Than the Sum of Its Parts

“This is truly a case of the whole being greater than the sum of the parts,” says Stein. “Our two companies are a great fit with one another. Primus and Distributel were both early players in the competitive space, advocating for Canadians and delivering innovative products and services to a burgeoning industry. This combination allows us to extend that shared approach to even more consumers and businesses across the country.”

Adding Primus to its portfolio solidifies Distributel’s position as one of Canada’s leading independent telecommunications service providers. The combination brings extensive benefits to the customers of both organizations through greater network reach, with an expanded portfolio of complementary products and services available from coast to coast.

The acquisition is accretive for both companies and was supported by PricewaterhouseCoopers Corporate Finance Inc. serving as financial advisors on the transaction. For its part, Distributel is excited to enhance its product range with Primus’ offerings which include a substantial cable footprint, the most advanced cloud-based business phone system in the market, a powerful and extensive portfolio of access services, and Telemarketing Guard®, the industry’s leading call-screening technology.

This investment will also expand Primus’ network and product set through Distributel’s capabilities including 1,000 competitive local exchange carrier (CLEC) coverage areas, state-of-the-art SIP trunking, integrated Microsoft Teams unified communications products, and its leading-edge IP-based TV service. The company’s increased scale will be even more important as fibre connectivity to consumers’ homes advances throughout the country.

Customers of Primus’ long-standing retail partnerships will also see increased value, with access to an extended set of products and services.

Primus Acquisition Driven by Anticipation of Final CRTC Decision on Wholesale Rates

“Canadians need competition now more than ever,” adds Stein. “The country’s telecom landscape has become extremely difficult, as the incumbent carriers act with increased aggression in their efforts to fight CRTC rate decisions while continuing to charge high prices, to both independent carriers and consumers.” Stein also notes that this transaction further highlights these issues for foreign investors within the current environment.

But Distributel is up to the task. “Acquiring Primus from U.S. based Fusion Connect materially increases our size,” Stein says, “and enables us to provide all Canadians with fair prices and even more valuable services. This will be further supported by the CRTC’s final decision on wholesale rates, which we expect imminently, and where we expect the Commission to uphold its initial 2019 ruling – a fair, balanced pricing decision designed to increase competition, value and innovation for all Canadians.”

Stein says this substantial investment was made in anticipation of the CRTC’s final ruling. The implementation of those rates, coupled with this acquisition, will allow Distributel to bring affordable, high-quality internet service to even more Canadians, at a time when it has become absolutely critical to so many parts of their lives, including work, school and family.

A Great Place to Work

Distributel was certified as a Great Place to Work in 2020 and was recently recognized one of Greater Toronto’s Top Employers for 2021. Stein says the company is thrilled to bring the Primus team onboard to continue to grow its strong culture and bring on some exceptional talent. “People come first for us,” says Stein. “We have always believed in building strong, inclusive teams and empowering our people to do their best work. We look forward to the strength of our combined team through this acquisition; I can already see that our similar cultures are going to be an incredible fit with one another.”

About Distributel

Established in 1988, Distributel is a national, award-winning, independent communications provider offering a wide range of business and residential communications services. In 2020, the company proudly achieved certification as a Great Place to Work®, and it has also earned recognition for its progressive, collaborative workplace. 100% Canadian-owned, with offices across the country and a national network, Distributel continues to forge new partnerships and bring innovative solutions to market directly and through a thriving wholesale division. ThinkTel, the Business Services Division of Distributel, is a provider of advanced voice and data services for the SMB and Enterprise markets throughout Canada. The company delivers a fully featured TV service through its subsidiary TotalTV Inc., a provider of next generation IP-based television services. As a top Microsoft Solutions Partner and a Cisco PMP, the Business Services division is focused on driving industry innovation. For more information, visit www.distributel.ca.

About Primus

With a history of challenging the status quo and a commitment to giving Canadian consumers and businesses the services, experience and value they deserve, Primus Management ULC provides a full range of national telecommunications solutions including Home Phone, Internet, Long Distance, VoIP, Enterprise IP Voice Solutions, Hosted Phone Systems (Hosted PBX), Dedicated Data Access and IP connectivity solutions. Founded in 1997, Primus is a known industry leader and innovator that pioneered the launch of VoIP technology in Canada and was the first to launch hosted PBX products to Canadian businesses. As a result of its dependable and responsive service, its customers have recognized Primus with three Consumer Choice Awards, the country’s most distinguished award for business excellence. For further information, visit primus.ca.

For further information:
Andrea Lekushoff
Broad Reach Communications
T: 416-435-2569
E: alekushoff@brpr.ca