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Rogers rejects potential meeting between ousted chair and his preferred board appointees

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The bruising battle for control of Rogers Communications Inc. continued on Saturday, with the company claiming its recently ousted chairman intends to hold a weekend meeting with a slate of hand-picked board directors and pre-emptively rejecting the outcome of any such gathering.

The company issued a statement saying any meeting between Edward Rogers and the five people he tapped to join the company’s board is both illegal and invalid.

It’s the latest salvo in an ongoing feud at the telecom giant, which found itself embroiled in turmoil this week amid media reports that Edward Rogers tried to replace the company’s current chief executive officer among other changes to corporate leadership.

“The proposal by Mr. Edward Rogers to hold a purported board meeting with his proposed slate of directors this weekend does not comply with laws of British Columbia, where Rogers Communications Inc. is incorporated, and is therefore not valid,” newly minted board chairman John MacDonald said in a statement.

“Accordingly, the purported board meeting and anything that may arise from such a meeting is also invalid. It is disappointing that the former chairman is attempting to act unilaterally without regard for the interests of the company and all of Rogers’ shareholders.”

Edward Rogers insisted his board was legitimate in an emailed statement.

“The new board and the company have important business to attend to and we will not engage in debates in the media with former directors,” he wrote.

“A meeting of the board will proceed as planned.”

Rogers statement offered no details as to when the meeting would take place or who would be in attendance.

Edward Rogers, who was removed as board chair on Thursday but has retained his board seat, is seeking to assert control over the largely family-run company. The son of company founder Ted Rogers also remains as chair of the Rogers Control Trust, the controlling shareholder, which, along with Rogers family members, owns 97 per cent of Class A voting shares.

Joe Natale, CEO of Rogers, also sought to ease the minds of shareholders on Saturday.

“I, together with my management team at Rogers, share a deep and resolute commitment to all our shareholders and hold the trust they place in us as paramount,” Natale said in a statement.

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