Shaw to Bolster Freedom Mobile with Spectrum Deal, Sell ViaWest for $2.3 Billion

Shaw to Bolster Freedom Mobile with Spectrum Deal, Sell ViaWest for $2.3 Billion

By The Canadian Press

Shaw
A Shaw Communications sign at the company’s headquarters in Calgary, Wednesday, Jan. 14, 2015. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh)

CALGARY — Shaw Communications Inc. is moving to strengthen its Freedom Mobile wireless business through a deal with Quebecor that will be largely funded by selling its U.S.-based ViaWest unit for C$2.3 billion.

The Calgary-based company says money from the ViaWest sale will help pay for C$430 million worth of spectrum licences in British Columbia, Alberta, and southern Ontario that it plans to buy from Quebecor — subject to federal approvals.

Shaw became Canada’s fourth-largest wireless network operator with last year’s purchase of Wind Mobile.

In addition to the spectrum licences, Shaw plans $350 million in capital spending for the wireless business, now called Freedom Mobile.

Shaw acquired ViaWest, a Denver-based computer centre operator, for US$1.2 billion in 2014. The company expects to net about C$900 million on the sale after repayment of debt.

ViaWest is being sold to Peak 10 Holding Corp., a portfolio company managed by GI Partners.

CP - The Canadian Press

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