CWC finalises Columbus International acquisition

1 Apr 2015

Cable and Wireless Communications (CWC) has announced the completion of its USD1.85 billion acquisition of 100% of the equity of Barbados-based telecoms provider Columbus International.

As previously reported by CommsUpdate, back in November 2014 CWC revealed that it had agreed to buy Columbus International via the payment of approximately USD707.5 million in cash and the distribution of 1.557 billion new ordinary CWC shares to entities ultimately controlled by John Risley (director and co-founder of Columbus), an entity ultimately controlled by John Malone (significant shareholder) and to Brendan Paddick (president, CEO and co-founder of Columbus). CWC at that date also announced the placing of new shares constituting approximately 9.99% of CWC’s existing share capital, which it said would be used in part to fund the acquisition.

Following a rash of regulatory approvals the deal has now been completed, with CWC chief executive Phil Bentley saying of the development: ‘This is a transformational deal for Cable & Wireless Communications. Columbus Communications is an outstanding business; not only do we add significant fibre optic submarine backhaul and terrestrial broadband and TV capability to our leading mobile and legacy copper networks in the Caribbean, but our complementary B2B divisions can now offer geographical focus and a wider product offering in the faster-growing Latin American markets.’ There are, however, a number of markets where CWC has yet to receive the necessary regulatory approvals, and in such locations the executive said the company would ‘continue to support the local regulatory due process until we have the green light to move forward in those markets’.

Meanwhile, as part of the integration process, Bentley noted that CWC would undertake a full review of all the brands that the company currently operates under, including Flow and LIME, though he stressed that no decision had been made yet whether any of these would be discontinued.

Antigua and Barbuda, Barbados, Curaçao, Grenada, Jamaica, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Trinidad and Tobago, Cable & Wireless Communications (CWC, incl. Columbus Int.), Columbus Communications (Columbus International), Columbus Networks, Flow (Curacao), Flow (Jamaica), Flow (Trinidad and Tobago), Karib Cable (Antigua), Karib Cable (Barbados), OLD - Flow Barbados (incl. TeleBarbados)