December 16, 2015: Earlier this evening, Shaw Communications, Inc. announced that it has agreed to purchase WIND Mobile Corp. for an enterprise value of approximately $1.6 billion.
Wind operates in urban areas in Ontario, British Columbia and Alberta. They have 940,000 subscribers.
Wind’s chief executive officer, Alek Krstajic will continue to run the wireless business, which Mr. Shaw said will remain based in Toronto.
After buying licences for wireless airwaves in a 2008 public auction, Shaw conducted a strategic review and abandoned plans to enter the wireless business in 2011. Wind now allows Shaw to enter the mobile marketplace. It makes good strategic sense.
Shaw’s Chief Executive Officer, Brad Shaw said “This transaction represents a transformational step in the history of Shaw and we are excited about our future growth prospects in mobile. This growth will be accelerated by combining Shaw’s existing customer relationships, trusted brand and wireline and WiFi infrastructure with WIND’s impressive asset base, including its existing spectrum position and mobile network.”
The sale is expected to close in Shaw’s third fiscal quarter of 2016. It is subject to regulatory approval. But I would think that the Canadian government will happy (relieved?) that a deep pocketed Canadian owner can add stability to Wind. Hopefully, the new combination can provide some serious competition to the mobile incumbents, Bell Mobility, Telus and Rogers. Let’s hope that our cellular bills will come down a little!