Canada's Shaw Communications sells media arm to Corus for C$2.65 billion

Wed Jan 13, 2016 10:07am EST
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By Euan Rocha and Alastair Sharp

TORONTO (Reuters) - Canada's Shaw Communications Inc said on Wednesday that it would sell its media unit to Corus Entertainment Inc for C$2.65 billion ($1.9 billion), gaining funding for its Wind Mobile purchase and sending its shares up nearly 7 percent.

Corus, which operates a network of Canadian radio stations and prominent children's television channels including YTV, Nickelodeon and Cartoon Network, will add channels like National Geographic, Food Network Canada, and HGTV Canada, boosting its family entertainment offerings.

Corus, which was spun off from Shaw more than 15 years ago will also be acquiring the Global television network in the cash-and-stock deal. The Shaw family still holds majority control of both companies.

"This combination fits like a glove," Corus Chief Executive Officer Doug Murphy said on a conference call. He added that the deal would let the company achieve significant operating efficiencies and gain access to new markets to drive growth.

Corus shares were up 2.4 percent at C$11.90 in morning trading, while Shaw jumped 6.6 percent to C$25.12.

The transaction is the latest in a flurry of activity in the typically staid Canadian telecom and media industry.

Last month, Shaw struck a deal to acquire Wind Mobile, the country's fourth-largest wireless company, for C$1.6 billion. Earlier in 2015, Rogers Communications Inc's bought smaller rival Mobilicity for C$465 million.

Shaw will get about C$1.85 billion in cash and 71 million of Corus Class B shares.   Continued...

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