Rogers-Shaw merger deadline extended to Feb. 17 as companies await government approval

Click to play video: 'Global News Morning Market and Business Report – October 26, 2022'
Global News Morning Market and Business Report – October 26, 2022
Canaccord Genuity Wealth Management's Kevin Becker talks about an interest rate hike from the Bank of Canada, and the quashing of the Rogers Shaw deal. – Oct 26, 2022

Rogers Communications Inc and Shaw Communications Inc said on Monday they had extended the deadline for their $26 billion merger to Feb. 17 from January end, as the companies await government approval.

The deal requires the final approval from Industry Minister Francois-Philippe Champagne for the transfer of spectrum licenses held by Shaw’s Freedom Mobile unit to Quebecor Inc’s Videotron.

The sale of Freedom Mobile to Videtron has been key in resolving antitrust concerns around the Rogers-Shaw merger that will create Canada’s No. 2 telecoms operator. The sale is also now expected to close by Feb. 17.

This is not the first time the parties have pushed the deadline to close the deal.

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In order to maintain its financing, Rogers struck a deal in August of last year to pay bondholders $520 million to extend the deadline to the end of 2022. The company pushed the expected completion date to Jan. 31 after missing the Dec. 31, 2022 deadline at a further cost of roughly $260 million.

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A spokesperson for Rogers confirmed to Global News in a statement Monday that the telecom company will not pay additional fees as a result of the latest extension.

Canada’s antitrust tribunal approved in December Rogers’ bid for rival Shaw, ending a protracted legal battle with regulators and months of uncertainty over the deal.

Earlier this month, a Canadian court earlier dismissed the competition bureau’s efforts to overturn the approval.

The antitrust agency had failed to convince the court that the transaction was bad for consumers in a country where wireless bills are already among the highest in the world.

Shaw Communications and Corus Entertainment, the parent company of Global News, are owned by the Shaw family based in Calgary.

— with files from Global News’ Craig Lord

(Reporting by Yuvraj Malik in Bengaluru; Editing by Rashmi Aich, Saumyadeb Chakrabarty and Sriraj Kalluvila)

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