CWC/COLUM­BUS MERGER FI­NAL­IZED; STRONG RE­GIONAL TELECOM­MU­NI­CA­TIONS PROVIDER EMERGES

The Star (St. Lucia) - - LOCAL -

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.”

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