Stock Symbol: MBT
WINNIPEG, April 10, 2012 /CNW/ - On February 11, 2012, Manitoba Telecom Services Inc. (TSX: MBT) (the "Company" or "MTS Allstream") announced that the Manitoba Court of Appeal ruled in its favour on a lawsuit regarding one of its Manitoba pension plans. This litigation was commenced by a group of plaintiffs consisting of unions and retirees in respect of events that occurred starting in 1996, in advance of the Company's privatization. In dismissing all of the plaintiffs' claims, Manitoba's highest Court confirmed that the Company complied with all of its legal obligations and has no liability to the plaintiffs.
Today, the plaintiff group asked the Supreme Court of Canada for permission to appeal this decision. The Company is disappointed that the plaintiffs are trying to pursue this matter further, particularly after receiving a clear and unanimous decision from the Manitoba Court of Appeal that simply applied the principles of well-established Canadian pension law, including recent decisions issued by the Supreme Court itself. Whether or not the plaintiffs will ultimately be allowed to file an appeal is within the sole discretion of the Supreme Court. By the Supreme Court's own published statistics, a large majority of cases do not proceed past the initial permission stage. The Company will challenge today's request vigorously.
The Supreme Court is expected to announce whether it will grant the plaintiff group leave to appeal in the second half of 2012. Should the Supreme Court agree to hear this appeal, the Company and its external counsel believe that the Supreme Court would simply affirm the decision of the Manitoba Court of Appeal, though any decision would not be expected until the end of 2013 or the first half of 2014. There would be no expected cash or accounting impact to the Company during such period.
Over the years, the Company has remained committed to funding this plan, its employees and its pensioners. Since 1997, the Company has contributed and made commitments of approximately $540 million to this MTS pension plan, over $400 million of which has already been paid in cash. Employee contributions over the same period totaled $144 million.
A copy of the 276-paragraph decision from the Manitoba Court of Appeal is available on MTS Allstream's website at www.mtsallstream.com.
Manitoba Telecom Services Inc. (MTS Allstream)
MTS Allstream is one of Canada's leading national communication solutions companies, providing innovative communications for the way Canadians live and work today. The company has more than 100 years of experience, with 5,500 employees across Canada. MTS Allstream's business is dynamic and consists of two operating divisions. In Manitoba, MTS is the leading full-service telecommunications provider for residential and business customers. MTS's suite of services include the latest in wireless technology, broadband services, IPTV, voice services, home security, and an extensive range of business solutions. Across Canada, Allstream is a leader in IP communications and is the only national provider that focuses exclusively on the business telecommunications market. MTS Allstream has nearly two million customer connections spanning business customers across Canada and residential consumers throughout the province of Manitoba. The company's extensive national fibre optic network spans more than 30,000 kilometres. MTS Allstream has spent 11 consecutive years on the Jantzi Social Index for leadership in social responsibility and is the recipient of the 2011 Governance Gavel Award from the Canadian Coalition for Good Governance, recognizing clear and effective public disclosure and leading governance practices. MTS Allstream's common shares are listed on the TSX (trading symbol: MBT). Customers, stakeholders and investors who want to learn more about MTS Allstream are encouraged to visit: www.mtsallstream.com. For more information about MTS's products and services, please visit: www.mts.ca. For more information about Allstream's products and services, please visit: www.allstream.com.
Forward-looking Statements Disclaimer
This news release includes forward-looking statements and information (collectively, the "statements") about the Company's corporate direction, business opportunities, operations, financial objectives and future financial results and performance that are subject to risks, uncertainties and assumptions. As a consequence, actual results in the future may differ materially from any conclusion, forecast or projection in such forward-looking statements. Therefore, forward-looking statements should be considered carefully and undue reliance should not be placed on them. Examples of statements that constitute forward-looking information may be identified by words such as "believe", "expect", "project", "should", "anticipate", "could", "target", "forecast", "intend", "plan", "outlook", "see", "set", "pending", and other similar terms.
Factors that could cause anticipated opportunities and actual results to differ materially include, but are not limited to, matters identified in the "Material assumptions" section below, the "Risks and uncertainties" section, elsewhere in the Company's 2011 Annual MD&A and 2011 Annual Information Form, all of which are available on SEDAR at www.sedar.com.
Please note that forward-looking statements reflect Management's expectations as at the date hereof. The Company disclaims any intention or obligation to update or revise any forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise, except as required by law.
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