Canada’s Rogers Communications is buying competitor Shaw Communications in a deal worth CAD$26 billion ($20.8 billion).
Rogers will acquire all issued and outstanding Class A Shares and Class B Shares of Shaw, which reflects a premium of approximately 70% to Shaw’s recent Class B Share price. The deal will also see Rogers take on Shaw’s $6 billion ($4.8 billion) debt.
Both entities began trading as family-run businesses. The Shaw family will become one of the largest shareholders in Rogers, and Brad Shaw along with another director to be nominated by the Shaw family, will join the Rogers board of directors when the transaction closes. The transaction has been unanimously approved by the Rogers board of directors and unanimously recommended by the Shaw board of directors.
Rogers has Canada’s largest 5G network and combining this with Rogers’ existing cable, fibre-to-home and wireless networks will create a Canadian powerhouse.
The transaction includes several deals. Rogers will invest $2.5 billion ($2 billion) to build a 5G network in Western Canada; a $1 billion ($800 million) fund dedicated to connecting rural, remote and indigenous communities to high-speed internet across the four Western provinces is being set up; and an additional $3 billion ($2.4 billion) will support further network, services, and technology investments.
Rogers and Shaw said the merger would generate $1 billion ($800 million) in synergies within two years.
Shaw is Canada’s fourth largest wireless provider, and has 7 million subscribers across its cable, wireless and phone services. It had revenues of $5.4 billion ($4.3 billion) last year.
Rogers has 10.9 million wireless subscribers and had revenues of $13.9 billion ($11.1 billion) last year.
“We’re at a critical inflection point where generational investments are needed to make Canada-wide 5G a reality,” said Joe Natale, president and CEO of Rogers Communications. “5G is about nation-building; it’s vital to boosting productivity and will help close the connectivity gap faster in rural, remote and indigenous communities.
“Fundamentally, this combination of two great companies will create more jobs and investment in Western Canada, connect more people and businesses, deliver best-in-class-services and infrastructure across the nation, and provide increased competition and choice for Canadian consumers and businesses,” Natale added.
“While unlocking tremendous shareholder value, combining these two great companies also creates a truly national provider with the capacity to invest greater resources expeditiously to build the wireline and wireless networks that all Canadians need for the long term. This transaction will create benefits for generations to come,” said Brad Shaw, executive chair and CEO of Shaw.
“Today’s announcement brings two iconic Canadian family-founded businesses together with the expertise, combined assets, and scale to deliver the next generation of telecommunications to Canadian consumers and businesses. This is a transformational combination and extends our company’s long legacy of innovation, entrepreneurship and dedication to world-class service for decades to come,” added Edward Rogers, chair of Rogers Communications.