Cable and Wireless to acquire Columbus International Inc

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Cable and Wireless to acquire Columbus International Inc

PRESS RELEASE – The combined business will:

-Deliver broader pro-consumer product offerings and improved services

-Inject state of the art TV and next-generation broadband technology into CWC

-Deliver huge opportunities to the Business and Government sectors

-Provide rapid lead in fixed mobile convergence through premier network platform

Cable and Wireless Communications PLC (CWC) has reached a conditional agreement to acquire Columbus International Inc. The proposed acquisition, valued at US$3.025bn will enable the combined company to significantly accelerate their 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 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 our 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.

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. This strategy is underpinned by our announced US$1.05billion Project Marlin capital investment programme.

Additionally, CWC believes that the combination of the two businesses will generate material operating cost and capital expenditure synergies. Similarly, Columbus believes that the combined strengths of both companies will accelerate growth, provide the necessary scale to enhance the customer experience, and help to allow Columbus to achieve its goal to become the “Best service provider” and “Employer of Choice” in the region.

The proposed combination of CWC’s region-leading mobile footprint and existing fixed line infrastructure with Columbus’ pay TV capabilities and next-generation, state-of-the-art fibre networks will significantly expand the product and service offerings for customers and also advance the companies’ quad play ambitions.

The combined business will also deliver the benefits of superior quality network infrastructure, fixed-mobile products and bundles, superior TV content at competitive rates, and a more attractive portfolio of products and services in the B2B and B2G segments.

Phil Bentley, CWC’s Chief Executive Officer said: “This 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.”

Similarly, Columbus’ chairman and CEO, Brendan Paddick indicated that, “Together we 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.”

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. The proposed acquisition will provide new opportunities and focus in Colombia, Guatemala, Costa Rica, Honduras, El Salvador, Dominican Republic, Puerto Rico and Peru.

“Our goal is to provide customer-focused solutions and the highest level of service across the region. This agreement will accelerate our efforts through a strengthened set of assets and capabilities,” Bentley affirmed.

The recent acquisition of both Groupo Sonitel in Panama, combined with Columbus’ Lazus in acquisition in Colombia will accelerate CWC’s progress against the new streamlined strategy.

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29 COMMENTS

  1. Its a sad state of affairs in St lucia, too many bottleneck Monopoly crippling our struggling economy.From Supermarkets, banking, telecom, contractors etc. We need to be more competitive in the Caribbean, we must protect our citizenry by providing an enabling environment which would encourage growth and development. Restricting consumers choices and opportunities only stifles and frustrates the market, it also makes "ease of doing business" more difficult...

    Congrats to those who will benefit from this merger... I know majority of us wont..

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  2. they didnt make enough money in st lucia... cable and wireless should get the picture by now-WE ST.LUCIANS DONT MISS THEM or WANT THEM BACK!!!!!!!! --smfh really

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  3. REALLLY????? I HATE, HATE Cable and Wireless.................................

    Seems like I just have to stay without- because im not giving my time, energy or money to Cable and Wireless.............

    Digicel please rescue us................

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  4. What a waste, now consumers have little choice. Cable and Wireless customer service STINKS. Back to the same old SHIT...

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  5. AND THEN IN THE BROADCAST LUCIANS " PLEASE LISTEN TO THE NEWS CLOSELY BECAUSE CABLE AND WIRELESS WILL BE DOWN-SIZING THE COLUMBUS STAFF SOON ENOUGH" MORE LOSS OF JOBS...

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  6. I don't know why my fellow st. Lucian's like ppl to come into our country to buy them. Flow knew what was coming when they bribed the employees resulting in the decertification of a trade union. St. Lucians are easily carried away and fooled. Now that there's no union to negotiate on y'all behalf they will do what they want before and during the merger.

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  7. it is a sad day for many of us who moved from lime to Karib/Flow.I am guessing the reason many of us left Lime for Karib/Flow because of the crap network service,the crap customer service. Flow allowed us with a quality service at a good affordable price and now we are sold to Lime. It's such a shame in the competitive business world customers in saint Lucia are not given the opportunity to buy shares in a company if the customer was allowed to hold shares in Flow the shareholders would have to vote for any merger or collect a pay-out,this way selling your customs to any other service provider would be a lot more difficult.

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  8. this really sux..competition is always healthy..here we go with another monopoly ..things will nvr run well in SLU!

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  9. After years of restructuring the company, they finally hired some bright sparks who figured a way to regain the monopoly with at least on service. Stay strong for us Digicel!!

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  10. This acquisition now makes LIME the dominant provider for cable TV services in the Eastern Caribbean. Not sure whether ECTEL can raise an objection to this merger on behalf of its ECTEL member states.
    What's next- a Digicel/Spectra merger?

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  11. i hated lime/cable and wireless services so much chpz...back to the same old nightmare...its like u moving in circles ...im like so accustomed to my flow cable already..smh

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  12. Digicel has been acquiring cable companies across the region, but I don't hear anything about monopoly, or unfair practice there. I believe C&W hiatus was for the good in the long run. Competition is always healthy and hopefully quality of service will increase with this merger. I'm sticking to the original! C&W

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    • Law abiding citizen are you serious. That merger came with a 1.7 billion dollar debt that has to be paid. How you think they will pay for it. Either bring up prices, or cut out operations (staff). You should know better!

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  13. how easy we forget how long c&w denied us affordable mobile service
    only when digicel popped up suddenly c&w mobile was affordable to all?? you forget??

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  14. Some persons left Cable and Wireless for various and decided to apply to Flow and Spectra. Some never want to do business to Cable and Wireless. Based on this the question is how could these companies just sell your right away to another company. Who say that I want to conduct any business with Cable and Wireless. Is this what doing business in St. Lucia is all about.

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  15. All Hail the monopoly is back!!!
    All that work to deregulate -- for what!

    For all who went to Karib then stayed with Flow -- what was it all for!

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    • I don't know about others but i went to Karib and stayed with Flow cus LIME was giving me a horrible service

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  16. HEARING THIS IS LIKE A NIGHTMARE FROM WHICH I CAN'T WAKE. IT DOESN'T SEEM THERE'S ANY ESCAPING YOU SOUR GUYS...

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  17. Now charges for VoIP calls will commence, with one main operator in the picture. Yes, folks, your magic jack, viber, and other such services are are now offered free, will carry a cost to use.

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  18. Now the Flow employees can reconsider their withdrawal from the union that they de-certified a couple of weeks ago.

    Now people now, move to get union representation from another union now!

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    • Agreed. Higher prices under the guise that they proved better service and more of a variety.

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