Malone to become C&W Shareholder in Caribbean Deal
Kristen Schweizer able & Wireless Communications Plc (CWC) agreed to acquire cable TV and Internet provider Columbus International Inc. to expand in the Caribbean and Central America. The deal also gives billionaire John Malone a stake in the enlarged company.
Cable & Wireless will pay $707.5 million in cash and sell 1.56 billion new shares, as well as raise additional debt to finance the $1.85 billion deal, the London-based company said in a statement today. Malone owns 22 percent of Columbus through one of his private companies and has amassed an international pay-TV empire that stretches across countries from Hungary to the U.K. to Chile.
“This is a game changer for Cable & Wireless - it puts us very much back on the map,” Chief Executive Officer Phil Bentley said on a conference
Ccall Thursday. “This is a great opportunity for us to build scale and become the dominant player in bundled TV, internet and phone services and business-to-business.”
The transaction is expected to add to earnings in the second year after completion. Cable & Wireless will also assume Columbus’s debt of $1.17 billion as of June 30. Closely held Columbus provides broadband services in 17 countries throughout the Caribbean, Latin America and the Seychelles. Columbus adds a significant pay-TV operation and so-called next-generation fibre network to Cable & Wireless’s existing businesses, Bentley said.
Cable & Wireless fell 6.3 per cent to 45.85 pence at 8:42 a.m. in London, giving the company a market value of 1.16 billion pounds ($1.9 billion).
Through international cable company Liberty Global Plc (LBTYA:US), Malone already owns 60 per cent of Caribbean cable and broadband provider Liberty Cablevision of Puerto Rico LLC. With a net worth of $7.4 billion, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index, Malone also owns Liberty Interactive Corp. and Liberty Media Corp. which has share interests in the Starz
Cable and Wireless was formed in 2010 in a company split that created Cable & Wireless Communications and Cable & Wireless Worldwide. The latter was acquired by Vodafone Group Plc (VOD) in 2012.
Billionaire Business Magnate John Malone.