Rogers to pay $700M for Shaw’s spectrum, Hamilton cable system


Rogers Communications is investing around $700 million in strategic agreements with Shaw Communications to strengthen its core business, the company said Monday.

The deals will see Rogers secure an option to purchase Shaw’s AWS spectrum holdings and expand its cable business to acquire Shaw’s Hamilton cable system, Mountain Cablevision Limited.

Shaw in turn will acquire Rogers’ one-third stake in entertainment specialty TVtropolis, of which Shaw is currently managing partner with two-thirds ownership.

“The agreements will benefit businesses and consumers across the country and fit squarely within our focused, strategic game plan. We’re investing in spectrum to ensure our customers continue to enjoy the incredibly fast speeds and throughput they crave, while ensuring our continued network leadership. We’re also strengthening our cable portfolio by acquiring a valuable cable business which complements our existing Ontario cable system allowing us to deliver even more value for our customers and shareholders,” said Rogers president and CEO Nadir Mohamed in a statement.

Rogers aims to acquire the unused wireless spectrum to meet customer demand for mobile bandwith and internet services, the company said Monday.

Shaw’s AWS spectrum holdings cover 188 million MHz POPs, including 20 MHz across B.C., Alberta and Manitoba.

The transactions include a $250 million deposit for Mountain, and a $50 million payment for the option to purchase the spectrum holdings.

When the Mountain deal closes, Rogers will have paid a total cash consideration of $400 million.

For TVtropolis, Rogers receives $59 million as a deposit on signing.

Rogers can exercise its option contingent on Industry Canada and Competition Bureau approval. If approved, the purchase would likely take place in late 2014.

The purchase of Mountain and sale of TVtropolis are both contingent on regulatory approval, and are expected to close in the first half of this year.