Feb 13, 2023
Federal minister says he’s not bound by Rogers deadline
Rogers is wireless heavy, and the wireless market in Canada is still robust: Equities analyst
Shaw Communications Inc. briefly fell to its lowest since January after Canada’s industry minister said he’s not required to make a final decision on Shaw’s sale to Rogers Communications Inc. by the Feb. 17 deal deadline.
“I am not bound by any date that the parties could decide between themselves,” Industry Minister François-Philippe Champagne told reporters in Montreal. “What interests me is the interests of Canadians. I will make my decision in time and place.”
Shaw fell as low as $39.32 on Monday before paring losses to trade at $39.57 at 11:24 a.m. The Rogers offer is C$40.50 per share.
The companies can extend the deadline, as they already have on multiple occasions. Rogers and Shaw announced the friendly takeover in March 2021, saying they hoped to close it in mid-2022. That date was eventually shifted to the end of last year, then to Jan. 31, then to Feb. 17.
Champagne’s approval is the final step in Rogers’ proposed $20 billion takeover of Shaw, a deal that represents one of the largest mergers in Canadian history.
Rogers and Shaw have made a separate agreement to sell Freedom Mobile, Shaw’s main wireless business, to Quebecor Inc. for almost $3 billion. Without the minister’s consent for that, the larger deal can’t be completed because of antitrust issues. Rogers is already the largest wireless provider in Canada.