Shaw Communications is making a big play in the western USA colo and cloud market place. Yesterday the Canadian MSO and network operator announced plans to purchase ViaWest in a dea worth $1.2B.
ViaWest operates 27 data centers covering some 630,000 square feet in eight cities: Denver, Dallas, Austin, Salt LakeCity, Las Vegas, Portland, Minneapolis, and Phoenix. They have been growing their footprint pretty aggressively, offering a combination of traditional colocation and cloud-based services for the enterprise market.
Shaw is looking to expand into the colo/cloud, and ViaWest gives them a way to both take on a new geography and to bring what ViaWest does back to the similar regions of western Canada where it will hopefully complement Shaw's telecommunications business. Last year Shaw bought ENMAX Envision up in Alberta, boosting their efforts in the enterprise bandwidth business.
I wonder if Shaw will also be shopping for fiber assets covering the same region to go with their Canadian footprint, since there sin't much overlap right now in their main markets. Because if they are in the market, I can think of one fiber footprint in the western USA that lines up pretty well with ViaWest's markets and whose price tag wouldn't break the bank -- Integra.
According to the announcement, the $1.2B pricetag for ViaWest is some 13x the annualized EBITDA from the second quarter of this year. That's a nice bundle, and I can see why the private equity group Oak Hill and ViaWest's other investors decided to cash in.
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