Shaw Com­mu­ni­ca­tions buy­ing Wind Mo­bile in deal val­ued at $1.6 bil­lion

Asian Journal - - Nation - By Peter Hen­der­son, The Cana­dian Press

Shaw Com­mu­ni­ca­tions is making its s long-an­tic­i­pated foray into the wire­less busi­ness by pick­ing up Wind Mo­bile for $1.6 bil­lion. The Calgary-based telecom­mu­ni­ca­tions com­pany says it will ac­quire the coun­try’s fourth-largest mo­bile op­er­a­tor by sub­scribers pend­ing a num­ber of reg­u­la­tory ap­provals, in­clud­ing the Com­pe­ti­tion Bureau and the Min­istry of In­no­va­tion, Science & Eco­nomic De­vel­op­ment. Shaw expects the trans­ac­tion to close in the third quar­ter of 2016. The pur­chase puts Shaw in line with com­peti­tors BCE, Rogers and Telus in offering the en­tire slate of pop­u­lar bun­dled ser­vices, wire­less, tele­vi­sion, home phone, and In­ter­net. “We be­lieve that our cus­tomers want us to be their net­work and ex­pe­ri­ence com­pany, and in or­der to do that we needed to make a wire­less play,’’ said Shaw chief op­er­at­ing of­fi­cer Jay Mehr. Shaw scrapped its pre­vi­ous plans to in­tro­duce a mo­bile net­work in 2011, and two years later signed a deal to sell the spec­trum, which would’ve been the foun­da­tion of that net­work, to Rogers (TSX:RCI.B). “The as­pi­ra­tions were al­ways there in 2011, the eco­nomics cer­tainly weren’t,’’ Mehr said. Wind Mo­bile, which is based in Toronto, has 940,000 sub­scribers across On­tario, Bri­tish Columbia and Alberta. Since 2011, the fed­eral gov­ern­ment and the CRTC have made sev­eral changes to the rules for wire­less com­pe­ti­tion which low­ered roam­ing fees for car­ri­ers and cus­tomers.

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