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Content Canada 2019

Corus to buy Shaw Media for $2.65bn

Corus Entertainment is to acquire the TV unit of fellow Canadian media giant Shaw Communications for C$2.65bn (US$1.86bn), handing it local versions of Food Network, Lifetime and National Geographic.

Doug Murphy

Doug Murphy

The deal, which is subject to regulator approval, will see Corus paying C$1.85bn cash plus 71 million shares, priced at at C$11.21 per share.

If approval is granted, the deal will further consolidate the already heavily compacted Canadian TV sector. The newly enlarged single entity would control 45 specialty and 15 conventional TV stations, along with the Nelvana content studio and nearly 40 radio stations.

The pact would bring Shaw Media channels, such as Slice, National Geographic Canada, Nat Geo Wild Canada, BBC Canada, HGTV Canada and History Canada, under the same roof as Corus’s networks, which include Disney Channel, W Network, YTV and Treehouse.

Corus Entertainment president and CEO Doug Murphy said: “This game-changing transaction brings together a powerful portfolio of synergistic media assets that will solidify Corus’s position as the market leader in the highly valued women, kids and family segments.

“It will also advance our strategic priorities through investment in content creation for our own platforms and for global markets.”

Murphy added that, upon completion of the deal, Shaw Media’s president and exec VP of broadcasting Barbara Williams will join Corus in an as-yet-undecided senior leadership role.

“As one of the industry’s most-respected executives, Barbara will play an integral role shaping the new Corus, given her in-depth knowledge and exceptional leadership capabilities, as we bring our people and assets together,” he said.

Both Corus and Shaw Media are controlled by the Alberta-based Shaw family, although they are listed separately on the Toronto Stock Exchange. As shareholders and Canadian regulator the CRTC decides whether or not to approve the deal, the Shaws will be excluded from voting. If the deal does go through, it will likely be in the third quarter of this year.

The transaction would mark the latest major M&A move in Canada, coming after Shaw Media’s parent company announced last month that it would be acquiring telecoms firm Wind Mobile Corp for C$1.6bn, in a bid to crack into the heavily consolidated cell phone market.

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