CWC to consult with customers over merger

| 10/12/2014 | 0 Comments

(CNS Business): Following an overwhelming vote from shareholders last week in favour of the proposed merger of Cable & Wireless Communications with Columbus, CWC said it launched a series of special “Customer Panels” in the Caribbean Monday “to spark a constructive discussion about the proposed merger.”

The parent company of LIME said the panels will give customers of both companies a platform to voice their concerns, share their opinions and express their service expectations. The panels will also provide the companies with feedback and give customers a greater understanding of how the merger will impact the Pan-Caribbean region.

“These discussions will highlight the pro-competitive nature of this deal, as well as the far-reaching benefits it will have on the development of the region’s infrastructure and the furthering of its general information and communication technology (ICT) agenda,” CWC said in a release.

John Reid, president of Columbus Communications, said the goal was to meet or exceed customer expectations and place their needs at the very heart of the combined company.

“These panels provide an excellent opportunity for our customers to understand the vision of the new company and the benefits that they will enjoy as a result of this merger,” he said.

The proposed merger, which has not yet been given the approval by all of the necessary regional regulators, has stirred up concerns and rattled CWC’s major rival, Digicel, which is making it clear, despite having eyes on Columbus itself, that it is not happy about the potential monopoly the merger could create in some parts of the Caribbean.

Following the announcement of the proposed deal in November, shareholders voted almost 9:10 in favour of it in London last week.

CWC has stated that the merger will deliver broader pro-consumer product offerings and improved services; inject state-of-the-art TV and next-generation super-high-speed broadband technology; deliver huge cost saving and operational efficiency opportunities and provide rapid and seamless fixed mobile convergence.

It claims the merger, as big as it is, 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 higher bandwidth, fixed line networks and TV capabilities.

CWC Chairman Sir Richard Lapthorne said he spoke for the whole board when he said they were very pleased to receive shareholder approval for the acquisition expected to enhance CWC’s growth.

“It will also create a fully converged telecommunications business which, with the support of host Governments and Regulators, will provide the Caribbean with leading edge communications capabilities that will be as good as anywhere in the world,” he said.

CEO Phil Bentley was also keen to hammer home the position that the merger will be good for everyone in the face of some series concerns in some countries.

“We know we have to work closely with governments and regulators to ensure that our customers benefit and that competition is not compromised — and that’s a commitment we’ve happily made to all our stakeholders; a commitment we intend to uphold,” he said.

“In the discussions we have already had with governments and the regulators, we have emphasised our belief that this transaction will be good for bringing further investment to our markets. The merger is good for our employees, the communities we serve and, most importantly, our current and future customers.”

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Category: ICT, Technology

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