Cable and Wireless Communications Plc has completed its buy of Columbus International Inc, a diversified telecommunications company based in Barbados. The previously announced acquisition had a US$3.025 billion value, of which US$1.85 billion was the equity portion. As reported by peHUB Canada earlier this month, the deal provides an exit to the first fund of Portland Private Equity, a firm led by Canadian billionaire Michael Lee-Chin. Lee-Chin said the fund earned a 5.2x multiple on its investment. Portland is currently marketing its second fund, Portland Caribbean Fund II, which is targeted to raised US$300 million to invest in growth opportunities in the Caribbean Basin.
CWC/Columbus Merger Finalized; Strong Regional Telecommunications Provider Emerges
LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM–(Marketwired – Mar 31, 2015) – Cable and Wireless Communications, Plc (CWC) announced today that it has completed its US$1.85bn acquisition of 100% of the equity of Columbus International Inc.
Commenting on the completion of the transaction, Chief Executive Officer, Phil Bentley, said: “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.
“We expect the operating synergies to be significant; together, the new merged company creates the opportunity to invest more, grow faster, and provide an improved customer experience and, most importantly, a development opportunity for our people that either company could never have achieved on their own.
“There has been an extensive and professional regulatory review, with appropriate remedies. We are pleased we now have the necessary Government support to conclude this important transaction and to start making the financial commitments required to deliver an outstanding customer experience and to enhance the telecommunications infrastructure and economic development of the communities we serve.”
Bentley noted that as part of the integration process, the Company “is undertaking a full review of all the brands we currently operate under, including the Flow and LIME brands as well as the business and wholesale brands,” but added that “no decision has yet been made.”
Commenting on the merger process and next steps, Bentley said, “Most of the markets we operate in have approved our integration plans and therefore today we can start to release some of the US$1.5bn investment monies we have set aside to provide our customers with an unrivalled telecommunications experience, improving coverage, reliability, products and speeds, and providing a welcome boost to both jobs and the economy in the countries in which we operate.
“In a small number of markets where we have yet to receive all the necessary approvals required, we cannot commence our integration and investment plans; we will therefore continue to support the local regulatory due process until we have the green light to move forward in those markets.”
About Cable & Wireless Communications
Cable & Wireless Communications Plc (CWC) is a full-service communications provider operating in 16 countries throughout the Caribbean and Latin America. With four leading brands: Mas Movil (Cable and Wireless Panama), LIME (the Caribbean excluding The Bahamas), BTC (The Bahamas) and Cable and Wireless Seychelles, CWC offers mobile, broadband, TV, domestic and international fixed line services and serves over 5.5m customers. CWC also provides premium data centre hosting, domestic and international managed data network services and customised IT Service Solutions to businesses and governments through our Cable & Wireless Business Solutions division.
We are the market leader in most of the products we offer and the territories we serve.
For more information visit: www.cwc.com.
About Columbus International Inc.
Columbus International Inc. is a privately held diversified telecommunications company based in Barbados. The Company provides digital cable television, broadband Internet and digital landline telephony in Trinidad, Jamaica, Barbados, Grenada, St. Vincent & the Grenadines, St. Lucia and Curacao under the brand name Flow and in Antigua under the brand name Karib Cable. Columbus also provides next generation connectivity and IT solutions, managed networking and cloud-based services under the brand Columbus Business Solutions. Through its subsidiary, Columbus Networks, the Company provides capacity and IP services, corporate data solutions and data centre hosting throughout 42 countries in the greater Caribbean, Central American and Andean region. Through its fully protected, ringed submarine fibre optic network spanning more than 42,300 km and its 38,000 km terrestrial fibre and coaxial network, Columbus’ 3,150 plus professionals provide advanced telecom services to a diverse residential and corporate client base of over 700,000 customers.
For more information visit www.columbus.co
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