Data Center Finance: Shaw Communications to Acquire ViaWest

Shaw Communications Inc. announced in July that it is in the process of acquiring colocation provider ViaWest Inc. Shaw will receive 100 percent interest in ViaWest from Oak Hill Capital partners for an enterprise value of $1.2 billion. The deal comes only a few days after ViaWest launched a new program to promote their IT infrastructure services.

Canada-based Shaw Communications mainly offers cable and Internet services but also operates Calgary data centers and hopes to use the expertise gained by acquiring ViaWest to expand their offerings in the country. According to a statement by CEO Brad Shaw, the company sees an opportunity to connect their data centers with sites operated by ViaWest in the U.S. to cross-promote services to each other's clients. Shaw also expects the acquisition to help grow the business data services and cloud capabilities of the company.

"…With the acquisition of ViaWest, Shaw gains significant capabilities, scale and immediate expertise in the growing marketplace for enterprise data services," said Shaw. "We plan to leverage the ViaWest management team's experience to accelerate the development of our Canadian data cente?r platform so that over time our Western Canadian customers will gain access to this industry-leading expertise for their own data management needs and scalable cloud solutions."

With 1,300 customers, ViaWest is one of the largest privately held data center providers in the U.S. Over the last 10 years, the company has grown from five facilities to 27 data centers comprising 630,000 total square feet in eight markets. Shaw Communications plans to maintain the company as a stand-alone subsidiary and keep co-founder, president and CEO Nancy Phillips on to operate ViaWest from its Denver headquarters. The acquisition is expected to be completed by September 2014.