TORONTO (Reuters) - Minority shareholders in Corus Entertainment Inc (CJRb.TO) voted on Wednesday in favor of the media company’s planned C$2.65 billion ($1.99 billion) purchase of Shaw Media from its sister company Shaw Communications Inc (SJRb.TO).
Activist investor Catalyst Capital had sought to scuttle the vote, saying it unfairly favored the Shaw family that controls both companies to the detriment of minority shareholders.
Corus said the tentative rate of approval of class B non-voting shareholders was 78.54 percent, well above the 50 percent needed but far from unanimous.
Gabriel de Alba, a partner and managing director at Catalyst, addressed reporters after the results were announced to claim a small victory for the fund.
“You can see that the questions and concerns that Catalyst raised have resonated across the minority shareholders,” de Alba said.
“Catalyst will continue to be progressive on this file to make sure that minority rights are respected and that management delivers on answers and performance,” he said.
The deal, which still requires blessing from a broadcast regulator, would give Corus control of more than one-third of the English-language television market in Canada, and help Shaw fund its expansion into wireless through the purchase of Wind Mobile.
Corus has said the deal would be immediately accretive to its earnings, a statement Catalyst has challenged.
Corus’ listed Class B shares rose after the approval, up 1.9 percent at C$10.62 on the Toronto Stock Exchange.
Its Class A voting shares do not trade and are mostly held by the Shaw family.
($1 = 1.3290 Canadian dollars)
Reporting by Alastair Sharp; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama and Bill Trott