Catalyst presses Shaw family for answers on media deal with Corus

Fri Mar 4, 2016 1:12pm EST
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By Alastair Sharp and Euan Rocha

TORONTO (Reuters) - Canadian fund Catalyst Capital, a fierce critic of Corus Entertainment Inc's (CJRb.TO: Quote) C$2.65 billion ($2 billion) bid for Shaw Communications Inc's (SJRb.TO: Quote) media assets, on Friday called on the Shaw family that controls both companies to prove the deal was the result of a fair, competitive process.

Ontario's securities regulator said it would hold a hearing later on Friday to consider whether to approve the deal in light of Catalyst's complaints.

A Corus shareholder vote is set for March 9. The transaction must win the approval of more than half Corus' minority shareholders, given it is a related-party deal.

In an open letter, Catalyst, which contends Corus is overpaying for the assets, called on the family to disclose the number of offers and the price ranges of the offers it received.

"If they voluntarily want to clean up the disclosure they get to look like heroes," Catalyst founder and managing partner Newton Glassman said in an interview.

Corus declined to comment on the latest salvo from Catalyst.Shaw Communications was not immediately able to respond, while requests via both companies for comment from the family were not immediately returned.

Corus has previously said any other potential buyer of the Shaw assets would have had to pay roughly 10 percent more in contributions to a broadcast regulator since it would involve a change of control of a broadcaster.

It has called Catalyst's claims misleading and argued it is paying a fair price. It has said the deal is a "heavily negotiated transaction conducted by two large, sophisticated and thoroughly advised public companies."   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