What Rogers buying Shaw for $26 billion means for rural Alberta

Rogers Communications has signed a deal to purchase Shaw Communications in a deal worth $26B including debt.

Rogers will pay $40.50 in cash for all of Shaw’s issued and outstanding Class A and B shares. As part of the arrangement, the companies say Rogers will invest $2.5B in 5G networks over the next 5 years in Western Canada.

Rogers also said a new $1 billion dollar fund will be created to connect rural, remote and Indigenous communities across the prairies to high speed internet service. The combined company will be headquartered in Calgary, and is said to produce 1,800 new jobs in the province.

The move remains to be approved by national regulators, and if it goes through will be the biggest deal in Canadian telecommunications history. University of Lethbridge political science professor, Geoffrey Hale, shares what he thinks the move could mean for southern Albertans.

“For rural areas to grow they have to have internet. For investors to invest in more capacity, growth really helps,” says Hale “you have a chicken and egg situation — it’s going to take a manager with some entrepreneurial vision to figure out how to put those two together”.

 It remains unclear which types of jobs will be created by the news, and what types of jobs could be eliminated from Shaw Court and transferred to Toronto.

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