Published On: Wed, May 18th, 2016

Cable and Wireless Communications officially under new ownership

CEO Mike Fries says it will be business as usual, for at least the next few months, in Flow operations across the Caribbean.

mike-fries-liberty-global-takes-over-cwcWILLEMSTAD - Cable & Wireless Communications (CWC), which operates in the region as Flow, has officially been taken over by international cable television giant Liberty Global.

Liberty has announced that it has completed the acquisition of CWC in a transaction valued at approximately US$7.4 billion.

But CEO Mike Fries says it will be “business as usual”, for at least the next few months, in Flow operations across the Caribbean.

“We have to give ourselves sufficient time to get better acquainted to make sure we have our strategies and our approaches to growth aligned. And so for the time being – I would say, for months – you are not going to see much meaningful change,” he said.

The company said the combination of CWC and its Latin American and Caribbean group (LiLAC Group) creates the leading consumer and business-to-business communications provider in the region.

“This is a big moment for us and I couldn’t be more excited about the potential of LiLAC and CWC together,” Fries said. “We are joining two high-growth businesses in a region that is both underpenetrated and underserved in broadband, mobile data and pay TV services. By combining our operations, we are creating a unique and well-diversified Latin America and Caribbean investment vehicle, which we believe will enhance long-term equity value for our shareholders.”

Fries said he was confident it was the right time for the acquisition, describing CWC as a “very well run company” and “a perfect fit” for Liberty Global.

“We felt this was the right time to develop scale in our industry…If we look at mobile data penetration, broadband penetration, telephony penetration or smartphone penetration in Latin America and the Caribbean and compare it to Europe or the US, it is clear that there is great opportunity to bring investment and innovation to this region of the world and we are excited to do that,” he said.

Last November, Liberty agreed to buy CWC for US$5.3 billion and take on US$2.7 billion in CWC’s net debt. This followed CWC’s purchase of Columbus Communications, which operated the Flow brand in the Caribbean.


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