Shaw advances data center, cloud services push with $1.2B ViaWest deal

Shaw Communications has reached a deal to acquire Denver-based data center provider ViaWest from private equity firm Oak Hill Capital Partners for $1.2 billion, a move that immediately advances the Canadian cable operator's movement into the data services and cloud market segments.

Under the terms of the agreement, ViaWest will continue to operate ViaWest from its Denver headquarters as a standalone, wholly owned subsidiary of Shaw. The current management team, led by co-founder, President and CEO Nancy Phillips, and the 350-employee base will continue to operate in their current roles in the company.

"The ViaWest acquisition provides Shaw a growth platform in the attractive data center sector and is another significant step in expanding our technology offerings for mid-market enterprises in Western Canada, building on the growth from our 2013 Envision acquisition," said CEO Brad Shaw. "We identified the data center sector as an attractive opportunity adjacent to our core business and with the acquisition of ViaWest, Shaw gains significant capabilities, scale and immediate expertise in the growing marketplace for enterprise data services."

Shaw added that the company will leverage ViaWest's experience to enhance the development of its own Canadian data center platform so it can broaden the reach of its data management and cloud service portfolio to its Western Canadian business customers.

For over the past 10 years, ViaWest has been growing its data center base from five in two markets to 27 data centers (with more than 630,000 square feet of usable raised floor space) in eight western U.S. markets, including Denver, Dallas, Austin, Salt Lake City, Las Vegas, Portland, Minneapolis and Phoenix.

ViaWest said it has significant growth prospects, with 70 percent utilization in its existing facilities and substantial expansion capacity at its new Denver, Las Vegas and Minneapolis data center properties.

Shaw's move illustrates the cable industry's overall move to enhance their business service portfolios. The company joins Time Warner Cable, which purchased NaviSite in 2011, for example. 

Pending U.S. regulatory approvals, Shaw expects the acquisition to close in September.

For more:
- see the release

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