Issue: VIS Steps
in as Key BCE Rival in Canada
Information Services announced this week that it has agreed to acquire
Telus Advertising Services, the Yellow Pages publishing subsidiary of
Canadian phone company Telus, for 810 million Canadian dollars ($520 million
U.S.). The deal faces regulatory scrutiny in Canada, but, if approved,
the companies hope to finalize the deal sometime this summer.
Verizon plans to combine
Telus Advertising Services with its existing Dominion Information Services
and Les Annuaires du Quebec divisions, to create a Yellow Pages organization
with anticipated 2001 revenues of $232 million. The new company would
operate as Dominion Information Services. Verizon is expected to use proceeds
from the recent sale of its share in Panorama Polska to Swedish telecom
Telia to finance the Telus acquisition (Verizon inherited competing Yellow
Pages operations in Poland as a result of the GTE-Bell Atlantic merger).
Information Services currently acts as the publishing agent for Telus
in British Columbia. In addition, Verizon announced plans to launch a
Canadian version of its SuperPages online directory services following
completion of the deal. Verizon also says it plans to continue publishing
Telus directories under the Telus brand.