Skip to main content

The Globe and Mail

Shaw Communications to acquire U.S.-based ViaWest for $1.2-billion

Brad Shaw, CEO of Shaw Communications, answers questions during a news conference at the Shaw annual meeting in Calgary, Alberta, January 14, 2014.

TODD KOROL/REUTERS

Shaw Communications Inc. said Thursday it plans to acquire U.S. data centre and cloud services provider ViaWest Inc. for $1. 2-billion (U.S.).

Denver, Colo.-based ViaWest is privately owned and controlled by private equity firm Oak Hill Capital Partners.

It has 350 employees and more than 1,300 customers, according to a statement from Calgary-based Shaw, which said the current ViaWest management team would continue to operate the business from Denver as a wholly owned subsidiary of Shaw.

Story continues below advertisement

Investing in data centres that can handle burgeoning Internet storage needs has become a growing trend for Canadian telecommunications companies.

Cogeco Cable Inc. announced plans to acquire Peer 1 for $526-million in 2012 and Rogers Communications Inc. bought Primus Telecommunications Group Inc.'s Blackiron Data for $200-million last year.

"We identified the data centre sector as an attractive opportunity adjacent to our core business and with the acquisition of ViaWest, Shaw gains significant capabilities, scale and immediate expertise in the growing marketplace for enterprise data services," Shaw chief executive officer Brad Shaw said in the statement, adding that the company plans to use ViaWest's experience to accelerate development of Canadian data centres.

Shaw said the acquisition is set to close in September and is subject to U.S. regulatory approval. It plans to fund the deal using cash and its existing credit facility and said the transaction would have no material effect on its free cash flow.

It said the purchase price of $1.2-billion (U.S.) implies a multiple of approximately 13 times adjusted EBITDA (earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization) annualized for the three months ended June 30.

ViaWest has 27 data centres in eight Western U.S. markets.

Report an error Licensing Options
About the Author
Telecom Reporter

Christine Dobby covers the Canadian telecom industry for The Globe and Mail. Before joining the Globe in May 2014 she reported for the Financial Post for three years, most recently writing about telecom and media. She has also reported for the Toronto Star and New Brunswick Telegraph-Journal. More

Comments

The Globe invites you to share your views. Please stay on topic and be respectful to everyone. For more information on our commenting policies and how our community-based moderation works, please read our Community Guidelines and our Terms and Conditions.

We’ve made some technical updates to our commenting software. If you are experiencing any issues posting comments, simply log out and log back in.

Discussion loading… ✨

Combined Shape Created with Sketch.

Combined Shape Created with Sketch.

Thank you!

You are now subscribed to the newsletter at

You can unsubscribe from this newsletter or Globe promotions at any time by clicking the link at the bottom of the newsletter, or by emailing us at privacy@globeandmail.com.