Rogers acquires spectrum in asset exchange with Shaw

Canada’s largest mobile operator Rogers Wireless has entered into an agreement to exchange assets with one of the country’s largest broadcast firms, Shaw Communications.

Shaw Communications specialises in broadband cable television, fixed line internet and phone services and programming content. It will transfer spectrum licenses for advanced wireless service to the operator in five of the country’s provinces: British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba and Northern Ontario.

In addition, Shaw Communications will hand over its shares in Hamilton-based cable company Mountain Cablevision to Rogers, which had 9.5 million mobile subscribers in the country in December 2012, according to Informa’s WCIS. In return it will receive Rogers’ 33.3 per cent partnership stake in the TVtropolis General Partnership; a pay TV channel that Shaw Communications owns the remaining shares of, as well as a sum of $700m.

“The agreements will benefit businesses and consumers across the country and fit squarely within our focused, strategic game plan,” said Nadir Mohamed, president and CEO at Rogers Wireless. “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.”

Brad Shaw, CEO at Shaw Communications added that the sale is strategic move for both parties and that the firm will be able to use the net proceeds from the transactions to accelerate various strategic capital investments in its core business.

“The majority of the proceeds will be reinvested back into our business and will be focused on improving and strengthening our network advantage,” he said. “Key strategic investments that will be accelerated include the completion of our Calgary datacentre, further digitization of our network, additional bandwidth upgrades, expansion of our wifi network in Western Canada and additional product development.”

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