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Shaw selling media division

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CALGARY—Shaw Communications is selling its media division to Corus Entertainment for $2.65 billion—a deal that will help fund the telecom company’s purchase of Wind Mobile.

Shaw Media includes the Global Television network and 19 specialty channels, including HGTV Canada, Food Network Canada, and Showcase—formerly part of the Canwest business group before it was split up.

Corus already owns a number of other specialty TV channels, as well as a network of radio stations and the Nelvana animation studio.

Both companies are controlled by the Shaw family through its voting shares.

Shaw Communications will become a large shareholder in Corus as a result of the deal, which involves both cash and shares.

“Through this transaction, we are able to crystalize an attractive value for Shaw Media and realize substantial value creation for Shaw shareholders since acquiring CanWest in 2010,” said Shaw director Paul Pew, chair of a special board committee.

It’s the second major deal for Shaw Communications in recent weeks.

The Calgary-based cable, Internet, and satellite TV company announced Dec. 16 that it’s buying Wind Mobile in a deal worth $1.6 billion.

The sale of Shaw Media to Toronto-based Corus will move about $1.85 billion in cash to Shaw Communications, which also will receive about 71 million Corus non-voting class B shares.

After the deal closes, Shaw Communications will own about 39 percent of the equity in Corus, including both class A and B shares.

But it will focus its own business on communications infrastructure rather than media content.

“With the previously announced acquisition of Wind and sale of Shaw Media, Shaw will be focused on delivering consumer and small business broadband communications supported by its best-in-class wireline, WiFi, and wireless infrastructure,” Shaw Communicatinon chief executive Brad Shaw said in a joint statement.

Corus CEO Doug Murphy said the purchase of Shaw Media “positions the combined business as one of Canada’s leading media and content companies, with significantly enhanced scale and growth prospects going forward.”

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