Atlantic Tele-Network swoops for Innovative, Caribbean Assets

5 Oct 2015

Massachusetts-based Atlantic Tele-Network ATN Inc (ATNI) has entered into an agreement to acquire Caribbean Assets Holdings, the holding company for the Innovative group, which provides cable TV, broadband and wireline services primarily in the US Virgin Islands (USVI). The business has been purchased from the National Rural Utilities Cooperative Finance Corporation (CFC) for approximately USD145 million, subject to certain purchase price adjustments. USD85 million is payable in cash and there is an option to finance the remaining USD60 million of the purchase price with a loan from the Rural Telephone Finance Cooperative, an affiliate of CFC.

As part of the transaction, ATNI is also acquiring Innovative’s smaller cable TV operations in the British Virgin Islands (BVI) and Sint Maarten. For its most recently completed fiscal year, ended 31 May 2015, Innovative’s company-wide operations generated revenue of approximately USD100 million. Following the purchase, ATNI’s existing Choice-branded wireless business in the USVI will be combined with Innovative to deliver a full range of telecoms services to residential and business subscribers. Subject to customary closing terms and conditions – as well as the relevant regulatory approvals – the ATNI expects to complete the transaction in mid-2016.

According to TeleGeography’s GlobalComms Database, ATNI has a solid footprint across the Caribbean and its subsidiaries include: Choice Communications (USVI), Islandcom (Turks & Caicos), CellOne (Bermuda), GT&T (Guyana) and MIO (Aruba). Since selling off its US mobile unit to AT&T in 2013 it has been widely speculated that ATNI would seek to invest the proceeds in the Caribbean.