Shareholders Of Shaw Communications Approve Sale To Rogers

Shaw Communications (TSX:SJR.B) shareholders have voted in favour of a proposed sale to Rogers Communications(TSX;RCI.B) for $26 billion.

The favourable vote, supported by the founding family that controls Shaw and its Freedom Mobile wireless service, is the first critical step in what is expected to be a long approval process that could continue into 2022.

In total, 99.8% of votes cast at a special virtual meeting were in favour of the plan to sell Shaw to Rogers, well above the required two-thirds support. Voter turnout exceeded 70%.

Under the plan, Rogers -- which is controlled by the family of late Ted Rogers -- will pay $40.50 in cash for all of Shaw's issued and outstanding class A and class B shares.

The deal still requires approval from Canadian regulators, including the Competition Bureau and the CRTC, two federal bodies that operate largely independent of the federal government in Ottawa. The deal also requires approval from Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada.

The proposed deal has faced stiff opposition from consumer groups, academics, customers and others since Rogers and Shaw announced their agreement earlier this year. As part of the transaction, the companies said Rogers will invest $2.5 billion in 5G networks over the next five years across Western Canada.

The deal also requires Shaw to redeem all its preferred shares on June 30. The redemption price is $25 per share plus accrued and unpaid dividends.