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Wi-LAN looks to have Mosaid’s rights plan scrapped

Wi-LAN says a hearing has been scheduled for next week with the Ontario Securities Commission in its attempt to scrap the shareholder rights plan of takeover target Mosaid.

The patent licensing company said Tuesday that the OSC will hear the request on Oct. 12.

A shareholder rights plan usually makes it prohibitively more expensive for an unwanted bidder to succeed in a hostile takeover because it floods the market with new shares or imposes other conditions.

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Companies making hostile offers will often ask regulators to kill poison pill defences, arguing that such plans limit choices for shareholders.

Wi-LAN also said its $480-million offer to acquire Mosaid has received U.S. and Canadian regulatory clearances.

"The company has also received a 'no action' letter from the Commission of Competition that confirms that the commissioner does not intend to challenge the offer under the merger provisions of the Canadian Competition Act," Wi-LAN said in statement.

Wi-LAN has made a $38 cash per share offer to Mosaid shareholders, a transaction rejected by the target company as too low.

Industry watchers note that patents have become a major and more valuable asset in the telecom and wireless technology business so bids should reflect that trend.

The 6,000 patents of bankrupt Nortel Networks were sold for $4.5-billion (U.S.) earlier this year to a group of major technology companies, which included Microsoft and Research in Motion.

Mosaid has asked its shareholders not to tender their shares while it considers other alternatives.

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