By Andrew Mitchell
Whistler Cable, which provides cable television and Internet
services through Whistler and Pemberton, is being acquired by Shaw
Communications — Canada’s second-largest cable TV operator behind Rogers
The sale, for an undisclosed amount, was confirmed in a press
release and news reports on Tuesday. The Toronto Stock Exchange still has to
approve the transaction, but it’s unlikely that could prevent the sale.
Whistler Cable has been privately owned by the Saperstein
family, and first broadcast to Whistler back in 1983 after receiving its
license in 1979. In the late ’90s the company expanded to Pemberton and
launched Whooshnet — a two-way cable Internet service that also started
to offer wireless Internet within Whistler Village a few years ago.
Whistler Cable also operates three propriety channels, Cable 6
(community programming), Cable 13 (channel guide) and Cable 19 (Action Sports
Whistler Cable and Shaw Communications did not return the
Pique’s phone calls to comment on the sale, but both companies commented in a
press release on Tuesday.
“Whistler Cable is an excellent system and a perfect fit with
Shaw’s existing systems on the West Coast, as well with the system that we
recently acquired from Coast Mountain Communications Inc., which also operates
in Pemberton,” said Peter Bissonnette, president of Shaw Communications.
Whistler Cable owner M.J. Saperstein added: “We are very
pleased about joining forces with Shaw. Shaw has a reputation on the West Coast
of providing exceptional products and services to their customers, and this
will now be extended to the residents of Whistler and Pemberton.”
Shaw also offers satellite television to Canadians through Star
Whistler Cable isn’t Shaw’s only acquisition. Last week the
company acquired Norcom Telecommunications Limited, a cable operation that
serves regions of northern Ontario.
The announcement came the same week that Intrawest, the parent corporation of Whistler-Blackcomb, announced a purchase agreement that would see the company acquired by a New York investment firm, Fortress Investment Group LLC.