UPDATE 1-Rogers puts Shopping Channel for sale, attracts U.S. buyers -sources

Fri Jul 10, 2015 7:20pm EDT
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(Adds details on deal, background on asset)

By John Tilak, Liana B. Baker and Alastair Sharp

July 10 (Reuters) - Canada's Rogers Communications has put The Shopping Channel up for sale and received interest from foreign buyers for the television asset that may fetch over C$300 million ($237 million), according to three people familiar with the matter.

The move fits into a refreshed strategy at Rogers, which hired a chief executive with a reputation as a turnaround artist in late 2013, as it tries to shake up its corporate culture and stem declines in its wireless and cable divisions, the company's biggest sources of revenue.

Rogers, which started the process about six weeks ago, has received the first round of bids and is currently lining up second round bids, the sources said.

Liberty Interactive is one of the bidders, said one of the sources. Other interested parties could include U.S. home shopping channel operators HSN and EVINE Live, which runs ShopHQ, as well as private equity firms.

Rogers could still decide not to go ahead with the sale if the economics were not favorable, the sources said.

While several foreign players have shown interest, Canadian regulations could block a sale of a controlling interest in the asset to a foreign entity, said multiple sources familiar with the matter.

One source familiar with the asset said a foreign buyer could acquire a majority equity stake in the asset, so long as a Canadian entity is deemed to have majority voting control in the asset, and as long as the operating entity in Canada is headed by a Canadian.   Continued...