Rogers family currently involved in fight over the control of the media company
There have been many recent online articles about the ongoing Rogers family dispute. Rogers Communications is one of the largest companies in Canada. A recent story found here provides a summary of how the dispute has unfolded over the last several weeks.
The recent dispute appears to have started when Edward Rogers was removed as chair of the company’s board. This happened after he tried to remove Joe Natale who is the CEO of the company. Edward Rogers is the son of the late founder of the company, Ted Rogers. According to the article, Edward lost confidence in the CEO to be the one leading the company in acquiring Shaw Communications. The deal to acquire Shaw Communications is the largest in the company’s history, a reported $26 billion purchase.
In addition to being the chair of the corporate board, Edward is also the head of the Rogers Control Trust which is the controlling shareholder of the company. After he was removed as the chair of the corporate board, Edward appears to have used his position as the head of the trust to remove five board members and to replace them with individuals selected by him. The new board members recently elected him to be chair once again.
The original board, which included members of his family and his mother, Loretta Rogers supports Joe Natale. Edward has claimed that he originally had the support of his mother and his sister Martha Rogers to replace Joe Natale. Loretta, Martha, and Edward’s other sister, Melinda Rogers-Hixon all sit on the original corporate board. Martha has been very vocal on social media in her opposition to Edward’s actions.
None of the allegations have been proven in Court.
The Rogers family dispute is currently before the Supreme Court of British Columbia
According to a very recent story found here, the dispute is currently before the Superior Court of British Columbia.
Edward is taking the position that he had the right to remove and replace five members of the original board without a meeting of the shareholders because he is chair of the Rogers Control Trust.
Loretta and the two sisters are taking the position that the new board is invalid. According to them, the only valid board is the one that existed prior to Edward’s actions.
The dispute between the members of the Rogers family has led to uncertainty as to which board is legitimate. The Supreme Court of British Columbia has not yet reached a decision in this matter.
Charles Ticker was interviewed on this matter on the 26th of October on CBC Metro Morning FM 99.1. You can listen to the full interview here.
As Ticker explained during the interview, the Rogers family dispute appears to be driven by a lot of hostility among the family members. Similar estate disputes usually develop after the death of both parents when they are no longer around to keep the peace or to hold siblings accountable for their actions.
Furthermore, it is impossible to guess what long-term effect this dispute may have on the company’s shares. This dispute is taking place publicly and the media is reporting on it constantly.
Ticker, who is also a mediator, believes that the Rogers family should mediate this matter privately and avoid future media coverage. None the parties or the company benefit by having this dispute aired in public.
Finally, given the financial resources of the parties, it is very likely that the losing side will appeal.
This continues to be a very interesting story to follow.
More on this story here.