Number of locations
(CEO & President)
|Owners||BCE Inc. (50%)|
Rogers Communications (50%)
Number of employees
Glentel is a Canadian retail firm. Based in Burnaby, the company deals primarily as a retailer of mobile phone services; in Canada. the company operates over 600 wireless outlets operating under the Tbooth Wireless (La Cabine T sans fil in Quebec, formerly The Telephone Booth) and WirelessWave (Wave sans fil in Quebec) brands, particularly in mall kiosks. Glentel outlets sell services from Bell Mobility and Rogers Wireless—who jointly own the company, along with their respective value brands (such as Fido and Virgin Mobile), and SaskTel in Saskatchewan. The company also operates store-within-a-store kiosks at Canadian Costco locations under the Wireless etc. brand, and operated as Target Mobile at Target locations in Canada until the chain's closure.
On November 28, 2014, BCE Inc. announced that it would acquire Glentel for $670 million, pending regulatory approval, in an effort to boost its retail presence. After a dispute with Rogers, who argued that it was contractually required to consent to any change in ownership of the company, Bell announced that it would divest a 50% stake in Glentel to Rogers upon the closure of the acquisition, turning the company into a 50/50 joint venture between the rival firms.
The company has its origins in Speedy Celtel, a company founded by Alan and Tom Skidmore as a retailer of Cantel, the country's first cellular carrier. In 1989, the company bought Glenayre, a provider of business wireless hardware, and was re-named Glenayre Technologies. In 1992, the company's retail arm was spun-out as Glentel, and in 1997, it opened a Rogers dealer at Metropolis in Burnaby known as WirelessWave. WirelessWave subsequently grew into a larger chain.
In 2005, Glentel acquired its Montreal-based rival Cabtel Corp., which operated as La Cabine Telephonique in Quebec, and The Telephone Booth in Alberta and Ontario. The deal added 49 stores to its holdings. In 2007, Glentel reached a multi-year agreement with Costco Canada to operate wireless kiosks, branded as Wireless etc., at its locations.
In 2010, the company first expanded into the United States with its acquisition of Diamond Wireless, a chain of Verizon Wireless retailers. In 2012, it acquired an 83% majority stake in AMT Group, an Australian operator of mobile retailers under the Allphones and Virgin Mobile brands. That year, Glentel acquired the U.S. firm Automotive Technologies Inc., doing business as Wireless Zone, which operated 421 Verizon Wireless retailers, for $83.3 million. Glentel also reached a deal to operate Target Mobile kiosks at the short-lived Target Canada chain.
Acquisition by Bell and Rogers
On November 28, 2014, Bell Canada announced that it would acquire Glentel for $670 million, pending regulatory and shareholder approval, in an effort to boost its retail presence. Bell also operates first-party retail outlets for its services, and owns The Source, a Canadian electronics store chain that also sells Bell services. The company planned to continue serving as a retailer for non-Bell brands after the acquisition was completed.
On December 17, 2014, Rogers Communications filed for an injunction against Glentel at the Ontario Supreme Court, seeking to have the acquisition blocked. It argued that pursuant to Glentel's supply agreements with the company, Rogers had to consent to any change in company ownership. The company also foresaw the possibility of Glentel's retailers showing favouritism towards Bell brands following the merger. Glentel CEO Tom Skidmore disputed Rogers' complaint, stating that "Rogers has the right to remove their products from our Canadian stores if they choose to terminate its agreement with us, but has no right under its agreement to block the acquisition of Glentel."
On December 24, 2014, Bell announced that they had reached a compromise, in which Rogers would acquire a 50% stake in Glentel upon completion of the purchase. The acquisition was completed on May 6, 2015.
In 2016, Wireless Zone was sold to Round Room, LLC. Diamond Wireless was also sold to A Wireless. In February 2017, Allphones went into receivership after being sold to a "Canadian shareholder" in May 2016.
- "BCE to buy wireless retailer Glentel for $594-million". The Globe and Mail. 28 November 2014. Retrieved 28 November 2014.
- "Glenayre, Wireless Survivor". BC Business Online. January 6, 2010. Archived from the original on March 15, 2010. Retrieved 4 August 2017.
- "Burnaby firm takes mall business model to the bank". Business in Vancouver. Retrieved 4 August 2017.
- "Glentel opens new stores". The Globe and Mail. Retrieved 4 August 2017.
- "Glentel to sell cellular products in Costco stores across Canada". Business In Vancouver. Retrieved 2017-08-04.
- "Glentel looks south, snaps up U.S. chain". The Globe and Mail. Retrieved 4 August 2017.
- Tan, Gillian (2012-09-26). "Canada's Glentel Buys Majority Stake In AMT Group". Wall Street Journal. Retrieved 4 August 2017.(subscription required)
- "Wireless Zone Acquired; Will Keep Name, Headquarters". Hartford Courant. Retrieved 4 August 2017.
- "Glentel to handle Target's wireless offerings in Canada". Canadian Press. Retrieved 28 November 2014.
- "Rogers turns to courts in attempt to block Glentel sale to BCE". The Globe and Mail. 17 December 2014. Retrieved 18 December 2014.
- "Rogers, BCE to form joint venture for control of Glentel Inc". Canadian Press. 24 December 2014. Retrieved 25 December 2014.
- "Bell completes acquisition of mobile phone distributor GLENTEL and will later today divest 50% of GLENTEL to Rogers". Retrieved 2 June 2015.
- "Round Room Snaps Up Wireless Zone". Wireless Week. 2016-11-10. Retrieved 2017-08-04.
- Battersby, Lucy (2017-02-07). "18 stores closed and 70 staff sacked as Allphones goes into administration". The Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 2017-08-04.