Craig shares soar on spectrum sale
Deal aims to increase high-speed service in northern communities
Winnipeg-based Craig Wireless Systems Ltd. announced Friday it has agreed to sell one-quarter of its wireless spectrum holdings to both Rogers Communications Inc. and Bell Canada for $80 million.
In Toronto, Craig Wireless shares closed up 69 cents, a three-fold increase, to 92 cents Friday.
The sale represents all of the company's spectrum licences in Manitoba and British Columbia, and still requires regulatory approval.
If it closes, the spectrum licences would be transferred to Inukshuk Wireless Partnership, a joint venture set up by Rogers and Bell to provide internet services to northern communities.
Inukshuk made a similar deal in May 2009 when it bought $80 million in spectrum from Look Communications Inc., which was then under court protection.
The federal communications regulator, the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission, is to hold a public hearing this fall to consider how to expand high-speed internet services in rural Canada.
Craig Wireless announced earlier this month it was putting itself up for sale and also considering the sale of some assets.
It said Friday it will continue to own spectrum, or operate on leased spectrum, in the United States, Greece, Norway and New Zealand.
With files from The Canadian Press