Shaw holding $548M Corus share sale after failing to find buyer

Shaw Communications has announced its intent to divest itself of its 38.6% stake in Corus Entertainment.

Shaw says it’s entered into an agreement with a syndicate of underwriters led by TD Securities, who have agreed to purchase an aggregate of 80,630,383 “Class B” Corus shares at $6.80 per share, amounting to more than $548 million. Corus will not receive any of the proceeds from the offering.

The deal is expected to close May 31, subject to conditions.

The Calgary-based telecommunications company had been trying to sell its stake in Corus for the past 10 months, according to reports, to fund the expansion of its flanker brand Freedom Mobile. TD Securities had been hired to find a buyer, but a sale to any of the incumbent broadcasters like Rogers, Bell or Quebecor, would likely have faced intense scrutiny from the Competition Bureau.

Corus encompasses 37 speciality TV channels, including HGTV and Food Network Canada;  15 conventional TV stations, including the Global TV network; 39 radio stations; the Nelvana animation studio and Kids Can Press, among other assets.

Corus shares closed at $8.06 Tuesday on the TSX.

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