By The Canadian Press
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.