A major deal could bring about big changes for Canada’s mobile phone industry, as cable and Internet giant Shaw Communications is announcing today it’s acquiring WIND Mobile in a $1.6 billion deal.
WIND, a wholly owned subsidiary of Mid-Bowline Group Corp, is Canada’s fourth largest wireless services provider, serving approximately 940-thousand subscribers across Ontario, BC and Alberta.
I approved by regulators, the deal could assist the federal government in its desire to introduce a fourth national wireless carrier, challenging the market dominance of Rogers, Bell and Telus.
In a statement, WIND’s Chief Executive Officer, Mr. Alek Krstajic said “We believe the combination of Shaw and WIND creates a wireless leader with immediate benefits for our customers and employees, giving them more choice, capabilities and opportunities to stay connected. With Shaw’s long-term commitment, this transaction enables us to enter into a new phase of growth in the Canadian wireless sector.”
Chief Executive Officer Brad Shaw also released a statement saying “This transaction represents a transformational step in the history of Shaw and we are excited about our future growth prospects in mobile.”
The move comes a little as a suprise, as Shaw announced in 2013 it was abandoning plans for a cellular division, and would focus instead on cheaper Wi-Fi options for its mobile customers.
The deal is subject to customary conditions, including receipt of applicable regulatory approvals. It’s expected to close in the first half of 2016.