Cable and Wireless Communications PLC (CWC), owners of LIME, has reached a conditional agreement to acquire Columbus International Inc., owners of FLOW, a joint release from both companies said on Thursday.
The proposed acquisition, valued at US$3.025 billion will enable the combined company to significantly accelerate its growth strategy, improve service delivery to customers in the region, offer customers a comprehensive portfolio of high-quality products and services, and strengthen their position against larger competitors,” the release said.
It said the combined business will:
- Deliver broader pro-consumer product offerings and improved services
- Inject state of the art TV and next-generation super-high-speed broadband technology into CWC
- Deliver huge opportunities to the business and government sectors
- Provide rapid lead in fixed mobile convergence through premier network platform
It said the increased scale and capabilities of the combined company will provide the technical platform and financial capacity to help enable CWC to drive greater innovation and expand its geographic footprint.
“The combination of the two companies is consistent with global industry trends, where convergence of fixed and mobile networks, increasing content consumption growth, and continuing development of online applications are driving requirements for high bandwidth, fixed line networks and TV capabilities,” the release said.
It pointed out that operators in Europe and North America, as well as regional competitors, are acquiring and constructing networks that are capable of supporting ever-growing data needs along with new video capabilities.￼￼
The combination of the two businesses supports CWC’s new strategy and its four primary areas of focus: drive mobile leadership; accelerate fixed-mobile convergence; reinforce TV Offer; and grow business to business and business to government sectors.
Phil Bentley, CWC’s Chief Executive Officer said, the development is “a transaction that transforms CWC, providing a step-change in growth and returns.
“Columbus offers complementary TV, Broadband and B2B capabilities in complementary markets. Together, we will create the best-in-class quad- play offering in the region, delivered on a superior mobile, fibre and subsea network. This is a significant opportunity to better serve our customers and improve the ICT infrastructure of the communities in which we operate, whilst accelerating our strategy and delivering materially enhanced returns and synergy benefits,” he said.
Columbus’ chairman and CEO, Brendan Paddick said that together the companies will “form a truly world-class company focused on our customers in the Caribbean, Central America and the Andean regions.
“The proposed acquisition makes both companies stronger, faster and smarter in competing with their larger competitors. The proposed transaction reinforces our commitment to transform connectivity in the region, to increase the attractiveness of the region to investors, to support the growth of the communities we serve by making them more globally accessible and to ensure that our customers always have access to the best products and services available,” he said.
The release said that for both companies, the proposed acquisition also enables greater focus on the Caribbean, Andean and Latin American markets as a region that offers attractive growth.