Shaw to acquire ViaWest from Oak Hill in $1.2 bln deal: Reuters

(Reuters) – Canadian media and cable company Shaw Communications Inc said it would buy data center services provider ViaWest Inc from U.S. private equity firm Oak Hill Capital Partners and others in a deal valued at US$1.2 billion on an enterprise basis.

Shaw said the acquisition would help accelerate the development of its Canadian data center platform.

Shaw said that Colorado-based ViaWest has 27 data centers mostly in the southwestern United States and that Shaw would keep the target in its Denver headquarters as a standalone subsidiary whose expertise can be made available to Shaw’s own data management and cloud services customers.

“With the acquisition of ViaWest, Shaw gains significant capabilities, scale and immediate expertise in the growing marketplace for enterprise data services,” CEO Brad Shaw said in a news release.

Shaw said the deal should close in September, subject to U.S. regulatory approval. The transaction will be funded using cash on hand and Shaw’s existing credit facility, with no material effect on Shaw’s free cash flow, the company said.

ViaWest, which employs more than 350 people, has notched 15 percent compound annual growth for both revenue and earnings before interest, taxation, depreciation and amortization over the last three years.

Oak Hill acquired ViaWest in partnership with the company’s management team in 2010. U.S. private equity firm GI Partners also invested in the undisclosed transaction, taking a minority interest in ViaWest.

TD Securities acted as financial adviser to Shaw, with Davies Ward Phillips & Vineberg LLP and Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP as legal advisers.

RBC Capital Markets advised ViaWest, with Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison LLP providing legal counsel.

By Alastair Sharp

(Additional reporting by Ashutosh Pandey in Bangalore; Editing by Saumyadeb Chakrabarty and Nick Zieminski)

(This story has been edited by Kirk Falconer, editor of peHUB Canada)

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