C&W sold to Liberty Global

| 17/11/2015 | 6 Comments

liberty-global(CNS Business): International telecommunications and cable TV company Liberty Global has bought Cable & Wireless Communications (CWC), the parent company of Flow, for £5.4 billion (US$8.2 billion), which includes £1.8bn of debt. This follows the $3.3bn takeover by CWC of regional competitor, Columbus International, on 31 March of this year, through which they also acquired Flow, which has replaced LIME as the company’s telecoms brand.

John Malone, Liberty Global’s largest shareholder, already owns 13% of Cable & Wireless through the acquisition  of Columbus. Two other former Columbus executives, John Risley and Brendan Paddick, own an additional 23% of CWC shares.

Commenting on the CWC board’s recommendation to accept Liberty’s offer, Sir Richard Lapthorne, Chairman of CWC, said it represented “an attractive premium for shareholders and secures earlier delivery of our long-term value potential”.

“Taken alongside the irrevocable commitments made by John Risley, John Malone and Brendan Paddick, this offer will deliver a price per share of 87 pence to CWC’s free float investors and a 50% takeover premium to the undisturbed price on 21 October 2015.”

The acquisition cost equates to 86.821 pence per share, in cash and Liberty Global shares, for the free float shareholders. This represents a premium of approximately 50% to the Cable & Wireless undisturbed share price, which is the price the day before Liberty Global’s interest in acquiring CWC became public, and a premium of approximately 18% to where CWC shares were trading last Friday, 13 November 2015.

Liberty Global is the world’s largest international cable television company, with nearly 27 million subscribers receiving over 57 million distinct services and generating approximately $18 billion of annual revenues, with operations mainly in Europe, but growing ambitions in Latin America and the Caribbean.

CWC’s businesses will be merged with the regional business of Liberty, the Liberty Latin America and Caribbean (LiLAC) Group.

In a statement Tuesday, CWC said, “By joining forces at this time, we combine our high growth assets in Latin America and the Caribbean, with the scale and complementary skills of a truly world class global player, materially improving our ability to offer leading products and services to customers in the region we serve. And by adding their strength and 1.5 million customers in Puerto Rico and Chile, backed by our strengths in adjoining markets and in leading submarine and terrestrial fibre networks, together we expect to grow our Consumer and B2B offers even faster.”

Phil Bentley, Chief Executive of CWC, said, “Since we launched our new strategy two years ago, CWC has transformed itself into a leading regional quad play operator … Liberty Global offers scale and world class capabilities and will be an outstanding custodian of our business, both for our people and our customers.  The years ahead should bring new opportunities for further success, faster growth and enhanced customer benefits, built on the strong foundation we have created.”

The deal needs to be approved by shareholders of both companies. It is expected to close in the quarter ending in June next year.

CWC press release on aquisition by Liberty Global, 17 Nov 2015

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Category: ICT, Local Business, Technology, Telecommunications

Comments (6)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    Flow sucks actually makes an awesome spoonerism..hahahahaha.

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  2. Anonymous says:

    So many changes in such a short time...whew

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  3. Anonymous says:

    Here we go again. Another takeover and name change and a new lot of severances when all we want is better customer service and an internet and TV service that consistently works. We pay world class prices in the Cayman Islands for these services but get nothing but third world services. Ridiculous.

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  4. Anonymous says:

    Mmmmm, Liberty Global? From the French verb "libre", meaning to be free? Say it ain't so! Sign me up and Gin and Tonics all round!

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  5. Anonymous says:

    Sucks to be Flow right now!

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  6. Anonymous says:

    So is it the case that we've gone from Cable & Wukkless to LIME to FLOW to yet another branding and identity change?

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