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Canada’s Rogers and Shaw announce $26bn merger

Canadian telcos come together citing the belief that 5G is redefining the innovation landscape and that significant multibillion-dollar investments are needed to deliver the connectivity that communities, consumers and businesses require

Rogers Communications has entered into a merger with fellow Canadian telco Shaw Communications in a $26bn deal.

Explaining the move, the companies said that as 5G redefines the innovation landscape, significant multibillion-dollar investments are needed to deliver the connectivity that Canadian communities, consumers and businesses not only need, but deserve.

Rogers said it runs Canada’s largest and most reliable 5G network and that when it can combine its scale, capital and experience with Shaw’s existing cable, fibre-to-the-home and wireless networks, it will be able to deliver transformational technology to Canadian businesses, consumers, communities and institutions more quickly and more efficiently than either company could do on its own.

The companies said the transaction will create Canada’s “most robust” wholly owned national network, and will generate more choice and competition for businesses, as well as “realising the full benefits of next-generation networks for Canadians and Canada’s productivity”. Once the transaction is complete, the companies plan to invest $2.5bn in 5G networks across western Canada, which they say is expected to create up to 3,000 new jobs.

Rogers will also commit to establishing the $1bn Rogers Rural and Indigenous Connectivity Fund to connect rural, remote and indigenous communities across western Canada to high-speed internet and closing critical connectivity gaps faster for under-served areas. As part of the fund, Rogers will consult with indigenous communities to create indigenous-owned and operated internet service providers, which would leverage Rogers expanded networks and capabilities to create sustainable, local connectivity systems.

Also, to help individuals and families access affordable internet services, Rogers will expand its Connected for Success programme across Canada to reach every community where the combined company offers internet services.

“Our two companies have been successful because of the foresight and vision of two great founders who were driven by their unrelenting pioneering spirit and entrepreneurial values,” said Brad Shaw, executive chair and CEO at Shaw Communications. “Without a doubt, my father would be proud of this moment, combining forces with the company founded by his old friend to deliver more Canadians world-class connectivity, more choice and better value.

“While unlocking tremendous shareholder value, combining these two great companies also creates a truly national provider with the capacity to invest greater resources expeditiously to build the wireline and wireless networks that all Canadians need for the long term. This transaction will create benefits for generations to come.”

Joe Natale, president and CEO at Rogers Communications, added: “We are proud to join forces with the Shaw family and team as we combine our companies and our 10,000 team members across Alberta, British Columbia, Manitoba and Saskatchewan. We are at a critical inflection point where generational investments are needed to make Canada-wide 5G a reality. 5G is about nation-building; it is vital to boosting productivity and will help close the connectivity gap faster in rural, remote and indigenous communities.

“Fundamentally, this combination of two great companies will create more jobs and investment in western Canada, connect more people and businesses, deliver best-in-class-services and infrastructure across the nation, and provide increased competition and choice for Canadian consumers and businesses. It brings two iconic Canadian family-founded businesses together with the expertise, combined assets and scale to deliver the next generation of telecommunications to Canadian consumers and businesses. This is a transformational combination.”

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