Calgary-based Shaw Communications announced Monday it has reached a deal to acquire 100 % of the over-the-air and specialty television businesses of Canwest Global Communications Corp. for approximately CDN$2 billion.
This agreement will give Shaw control of approximately 11 local TV global TV stations and will add Canwest’s stable of specialty channels, which include History Television Canada, Food Network Canada, HGTV and Slice, to its portfolio.
Included in the $2 billion payout is $700 million in cash that Shaw will use to purchase Goldman Sachs Capital Partners’ equity interest in CW Media Group, the unit that owned the specialty channels.
‘We are pleased to announce that we have come to an agreement with all constituent parties involved in a restructured Canwest, including Goldman Sachs, and are excited about the opportunity to acquire the entire company now,’ said Jim Shaw, chief executive officer and vice chair, Shaw Communications Inc., in a statement. ‘Over the last number of months we have conducted extensive negotiations with all parties and have met with management of Canwest several times. The recent restructuring initiatives undertaken by Canwest have positioned it as a pure play Canadian broadcaster and we are excited about this transformative transaction for Shaw as we believe the combination of content with our cable and satellite distribution network, and soon to be wireless service, will position us to be one of the leading entertainment and communications companies in Canada.’
Today’s announcement from Shaw stated Canwest creditors will receive a total of $478 million in cash in compromise of their debt, and that Shaw will also be assuming $815 million of the net debt at CW Media Group as part of the purchase.