Canadian multi-service cableco Shaw Communications has entered into a share purchase agreement with Corus Entertainment to sell 100% of its wholly owned broadcasting subsidiary Shaw Media for CAD2.65 billion (USD1.86 billion) including approximately CAD1.85 billion in cash and roughly CAD800 million in Corus non-voting shares. Shaw Media consists of the conventional television network Global Television and 19 specialty channels. Shaw said in a press release that it will use the cash proceeds to fund 100% of the purchase price of its recently announced acquisition of cellular network operator Wind Mobile.
Shaw confirms that it will retain its existing interest in shomi, the subscription based, streaming video-on-demand service launched in 2015 in partnership with Rogers Communications, whilst earlier this week Shaw also announced the launch of a new mobile live and on-demand TV service under the ‘FreeRange TV’ banner, based on Comcast’s X1 technology platform, which it hopes will help it capitalise on synergies with its new Wind Mobile asset.
The completion of the Shaw Media sale is subject to approval by Corus’ shareholders, and necessary regulatory approvals, but is not subject to approval by the shareholders of Shaw or any financing conditions, and is expected to close in March-May 2016 (Shaw’s fiscal Q3). Upon completion of the transaction, Shaw will nominate three directors to Corus’ board.