Canadian Cabler Buys U.S.-Based ViaWest for $1.2 Billion

8:14 AM PST 07/31/2014 by Etan Vlessing
Shaw Media

The "Big Brother Canada" broadcaster is looking to boost its data center and cloud computing revenues as part of a purchase deal with Oak Hill Capital Partners.

TORONTO – Shaw Communications is expanding its data center business by acquiring Colorado-based ViaWest for $1.2 billion.

The bid by the western Canadian cable giant for a bigger slice of cloud revenues, unveiled on Thursday, will see ViaWest continue to operate as a subsidiary of Calgary-based Shaw.

The Canadian company will acquire a 100 percent interest in the privately-held ViaWest from Oak Hill Capital Partners and other shareholders.

ViaWest provides data center and cloud technology services in the U.S. market.

Shaw is following other North American cable and telco rivals in building out their data center businesses.

Montreal-based Cogeco Cable Inc. acquired Peer 1 in 2012 and Rogers Communications picked up Blackiron Data in 2013.

Shaw said ViaWest employs around 350 people and services more than 1,300 customers across seven U.S. states, including Colorado, Texas, Utah and Nevada.

"The ViaWest acquisition provides Shaw a growth platform in the attractive data center sector and is another significant step in expanding our technology offerings for mid-market enterprises in Western Canada, building on the growth from our 2013 Envision acquisition," said Brad Shaw, CEO of Shaw Communications, in a statement on Thursday.

ViaWest's current management, led by president and CEO Nancy Phillips, will remain at the head of the company.

TD Securities Inc. and Davies Ward Phillips & Vineberg LLP advised Shaw on the ViaWest deal, while RBC Capital Markets and Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison LLP provided legal advice to ViaWest.

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