WIC agrees to Shaw-Global carve-up deal

WIC Western International Communications said Friday it has agreed to be carved up among its principal shareholders, led by CanWest Global and Shaw Communications.

Shaw and CanWest finally came to an agreement on the deal in mid-October, after more than a year of haggling. Last week the two communication companies penned the final deal and now that WIC has signed on, the arrangement has just to pass regulatory approval.

The deal will give CanWest a presence in every major market across Canada, making the company Canada's third national network, alongside CTV and CBC.

Under the agreement, Shaw gets WIC's stake in Canadian Satellite Communications Inc., while Shaw's media division, Corus Entertainment, gets WIC's 12 radio stations, pay and specialty television channels and other assets.

CanWest gets WIC's nine television stations, and all of the company's interest in ROBTv and other assets.

CanWest is to spend $550 million for all of WIC's assets and then sell-off the radio stations and other agreed-upon assets to Corus.

CanWest has been trying to get control of WIC since 1995, in hopes of securing a television presence in Alberta where WIC has three of its nine stations.

The break-up of the company became necessary after a takeover battle between CanWest and Shaw left the two companies each holding about half of WIC's non-voting shares.