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May 14, 2019

Corus shares tumble as Shaw Communications cashes out

Shaw cashing out of Corus

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Shaw Communications Inc. (SJRb.TO) is cashing out of Corus Entertainment Inc. (CJRb.TO).

The Calgary-based telecommunications company announced its intent to divest its 80.6 million Class B shares in Corus via a bought deal led by TD Securities Inc., according to a press release late Tuesday afternoon. 

The shares are being sold for $6.80 apiece for total proceeds of $548 million that will flow to Shaw, which says the funds will go toward general corporate purposes, potentially including debt repayment. Corus's Class B shares closed Tuesday's trading session at $8.06 on the TSX, and have rallied 67 per cent so far this year.

A spokesperson for Shaw declined to provide any further comment on the decision to sell the shares. 

"In our view, this transaction is a positive for Shaw given the capital that will be required to expand its wireless network and acquire high-band spectrum in preparation for 5G," wrote Canaccord Genuity Analyst Aravinda Galappatthige in a note to clients. 

Galappatthige noted the move is consistent with Shaw's previous comments about the Corus stake being non-core and also in line with Shaw's focus on building its wireless business. 

"The move was prudent given the company’s desire to increase the capacity and coverage of its network, the upcoming 3.5GHz auction, and the potential rollout of a Shaw-branded wireless product in the medium term that will certainly require additional investment," he added.