Canada’s Federal Competition Bureau greenlights Global takeover

The CRTC is the last remaining hurdle to Shaw's takeover of Canwest Global Communications Corp.'s TV assets.
August 16, 2010

The CRTC is the last remaining hurdle for Shaw Communications in its bid to acquire Canwest Global Communications Corp.’s TV assets now that the cabler has secured a greenlight from the federal Competition Bureau.

On Friday, Calgary-based Shaw said the arms-length government agency, which weighs corporate acquisitions for monopoly implications, cleared the $2 billion takeover of Global TV and a string of specialty channels, including HGTV and Food Network Canada, among others.

The Competition Bureau ruling said the Canwest Global transaction ‘will not likely give rise to a substantial lessening or prevention of competition under the Competition Act because of a number of factors, including effective remaining competition, the effect of the regulatory environment, the absence of relevant concerns expressed by market participants and numerous alternatives available to advertisers,’ Shaw reported.

The CRTC plans a public hearing starting September 20 to consider the change of ownership for Canwest Global, which late last year tipped itself into creditor protection to deal with a $4 billion debt load.

‘Canwest is now one step closer to emerging from protection under the Companies’ Creditors Arrangement Act,’ Shaw CEO Jim Shaw said in a statement. ‘We look forward to completing the last remaining step,’ he added.

In late July Shaw received an Ontario court approval for its Canwest Global TV asset takeover. That okay followed Shaw first proposing to purchase a controlling stake in Canwest Global to help recapitalize the debt-laden broadcaster.

Shaw then went for an outright acquisition after it faced a legal fight with Goldman Sachs & Co for control of 13 former Alliance Atlantis Communications specialty channels acquired by Canwest Global in 2007.

Canwest Global earlier sold off its newspaper division as part of a separate transaction.

This article originally appeared in Playback Daily.

About The Author
Managing editor with realscreen publication, an international print and online magazine that covers the non-fiction film and television industries. Darah is an award-winning journalist who has spent over two decades covering a wide range of issues from real estate and urban development to immigration, politics and human rights, primarily with The Vancouver Sun. Prior to joining realscreen, she was editor of Stream Daily, realscreen's sister publication covering the dynamic global digital video industry. She also served a stint as a war reporter in Afghanistan for television and print, and was a national business blogger with Yahoo Canada.