(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) 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) and BCE Inc’s (BCE.TO) 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