Canada's Rogers to buy Mobilicity, Shaw Comm.s

Jun 24, 2015, 4:02 PM EDT
A sign is pictured on top of the Rogers Communications Inc. building on the day of their annual general meeting for shareholders in Toronto, April 21, 2015.

Rogers, Canada's largest wireless operator, said on Wednesday it will buy Mobilicity and Shaw Communications. Rogers said it will pay C$440 million ($355 million) to buy struggling wireless operator Mobilicity and C$100 million to complete a longstanding agreement to buy airwaves from cable and media company Shaw Communications Inc (SJRb.TO), reports Reuters. It had already paid $250 million to secure the Shaw purchase option.

It will also sell some spectrum across the country to smaller company Wind Mobile, a deal seen as necessary to win Canadian government approval for the Mobilicity takeover. The government has encouraged competition in the wireless industry and Wind is seen as the most viable new competitor to Canada's three big players: Rogers, BCE Inc's (BCE.TO) Bell, and Telus Corp (T.TO). Rogers' deals will give it new airwaves in British Columbia, Alberta and southern Ontario, among Canada's most populated regions.

An Ontario Superior Court judge has given approval to the sale of struggling wireless carrier Mobilicity to telecom giant Rogers Communications, writes the Star. “No one is more pleased than I to see this transaction,” said Justice Frank Newbould in Ontario Superior Court of Justice on Wednesday morning, in signing off on the $465-million deal. Newbould noted there have been many obstacles since Mobilicity first filed for creditor protection in 2013. Ottawa has always insisted that it wants to ensure competition in the wireless space. Telus, Rogers and BCE’s together have about 90 per cent of the Canada’s wireless subscribers.

“The transaction with Rogers provides the best possible outcome for Mobilicity's customers, dealers and employees,” said Anthony Booth, president of Mobilicity, in the news release. “Rogers ensures certainty of service for Mobilicity customers, provides a great network, national coverage and high quality products and services. At the same time, Mobilicity employees will have the opportunity to work at a great Canadian company in Rogers.”