Shaw claims half of Western Com’cations

With over 50% stake, co. still outvotes CanWest

TORONTO — Shaw Communications declared itself the winner in the battle for control of Vancouver-based media empire Western Intl. Communications Ltd., announcing this week that it now holds more than 50% total equity in WIC.

Shaw increased its voting stake in the company to 49.96% in March and since then has been racing CanWest Global Communications Corp., another WIC major shareholder, to bump its equity holdings past the halfway point. CanWest argued that the transaction triggered the conversion of nonvoting shares to voting shares, which would give CanWest, which now holds 44.2% of WIC but less than 1% of voting shares, a significant say over the company.

The acrimonious battle will not be over, however, until the Canadian regulatory org approves the move, which is far from a done deal.

WIC owns nine TV stations, 12 radio stations, interest in several pay and specialty TV channels and control of a satellite company.