I recently took the opportunity to sell (commission free) my very small amount of BA.UN. I was able to do this through Bell Aliants “Small Unitholder Selling Program”. Bell has decided to allow unitholders who own less than 100 units to “sell all, but not less than all, of their Units without incurring brokerage charges.” You might be wondering why BA.UN would go out of their way and absorb the cost of this initiative...well the answer is easy, money. Bell is anticipating that this initiative will save them money by reduce the administrative burden and cost associated with having so many unitholders. It takes the same amount of administrative resources to issue distributions, annual report etc...to a unitholder with 5 units as it does to one with 200. Well your next question might be “who would buy only 5 units of BA.UN?” well...the answer is nobody. However, thousands and thousands of BCE shareholders were issued units of BA.UN when it was spun off last year. If I remember correctly you received around 7 shares of BA.UN for every 100 shares of BCE that you owned. This resulted in thousands of people receiving a very small amount of BA.UN.
Here’s why I decided to take advantage this offer:
1. BA.UN is an insignificant portion of my portfolio (less than half a percent)
2. Like thousands of others I acquired my shares when they were spun off of BCE.
3. Although I believe the distribution is stable I invest for the long term and don’t see any growth in the landline business.
If you’re interested in selling your units the offer is open until January 17,2008. The official press release by BA.UN can be found here.