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Rogers buys Canada Telecom rival Shaw

By AFP - Mar 15,2021 - Last updated at Mar 15,2021

OTTAWA — Rogers Communications announced on Monday the purchase of its rival Shaw for Can$26 billion ($21 billion) in a telecoms deal that would merge two Canadian family dynasties.

By combining, the two firms said they will have the "the scale, assets and capabilities" to accelerate a rollout of fifth generation (5G) mobile communications and better compete with the nation's top two providers Bell and Telus.

The transaction, however, must still be approved by shareholders and regulators.

Both companies were founded in the 1960s and grew mostly through acquisitions of smaller cable companies. Founders Ted Rogers died in 2008 and JR Shaw passed away last March.

The deal follows Rogers' failed joint bid with Altice USA last year for Quebec's Cogeco Communications, as well as Shaw's entry into the wireless business by acquiring startup Wind Mobile in 2016.

According to a statement, Toronto-based Rogers will pay Can$40.50 per share in cash — a 70 per cent premium — for the shares of its Western Canada competitor, for a total of Can$20 billion.

Rogers will also take on Shaw's Can$6 billion debt, bringing the total value of the deal supported by the Shaw family to Can$26 billion.

The merged company, they said, would invest Can$2.5 billion to build up 5G networks in Manitoba, Saskatchewan, Alberta and British Columbia provinces and add 3,000 new jobs.

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