Canada's Shaw Communications to buy Wind Mobile in deal valued at C$1.6 billion

Wed Dec 16, 2015 7:06pm EST
 
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(Reuters) - Canada's Shaw Communications Inc SJRb.TO SJR.N said on Wednesday it had agreed to buy Wind Mobile, the country's fourth-largest wireless provider, and its parent company in a deal that gives it a much-needed presence in the cellular market.

Calgary-based Shaw said the deal valued Wind at C$1.6 billion ($1.16 billion).

The takeover follows Rogers Communication's C$465-million purchase of smaller rival Mobilicity in a series of deals that allowed Wind to snap up a suite of airwaves at a discount price.

The company's chief executive, Brad Shaw, said the deal boosts its growth prospects and offerings to existing clients.

Shaw has struggled against Vancouver-based Telus Corp (T.TO: Quote) because it has so far not been able to bundle wireless into its television, landline and Internet offerings.

Wind said earlier this month that it had closed a new C$425 million debt facility to help it upgrade its network to the latest high-speed LTE technology.

Wind has roughly 940,000 subscribers across Ontario, British Columbia and Alberta, but lags far behind the three big Canadian players, Telus, Rogers Communications Inc (RCIb.TO: Quote) and BCE Inc's (BCE.TO: Quote) Bell, each of which has at least 10 times the subscribers.

(Reporting by Julie Gordon in Vancouver, Alastair Sharp in Toronto and Shubhankar Chakravorty in Bengaluru; Editing by Alan Crosby)

 
The Shaw logo is pictured on their Barlow Trail building, home to the annual Shaw AGM, in Calgary, Alberta January 14, 2014. REUTERS/Todd Korol