Flow Trinidad takeover could be blocked unless CWC divests TSTT stake

13 Mar 2015

Today, Trinidad & Tobago’s Newsday paper reports that the Telecommunications Authority of Trinidad & Tobago (TATT) has laid down conditions on the proposed takeover of triple-play broadband, pay-TV and telephony operator Columbus Communications Trinidad (Flow) by rival Cable & Wireless Communications (CWC), in which the regulator says UK-backed CWC must agree to sell its 49% stake in majority-state-owned incumbent operator Telecommunications Services of Trinidad & Tobago (TSTT).

According to the local report, TATT’s rejection of CWC’s bid for Columbus was based on fears that if CWC buys the cable network operator while retaining its TSTT stake, this would hurt competitiveness in Trinidad & Tobago’s telecoms sector.

CWC agreed on terms to buy the entire Columbus International group for USD1.85 billion in November 2014. Columbus offers services under the Flow brand in Trinidad & Tobago, Jamaica, Barbados, Grenada and Curacao, and also serves Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent & the Grenadines and Antigua & Barbuda under the brand name Karib Cable. Columbus also provides corporate data and cloud based services under the brand Columbus Business Solutions, while via Columbus Networks the group provides capacity and IP services, corporate data solutions and data centre hosting throughout 42 countries in the greater Caribbean, Central American and Andean region.