John Malone’s Liberty Global has agreed a deal to acquire Cable & Wireless Communications (C&W), which offers cable and other services in the Caribbean, in a deal valued at $5.3 billion. It is the latest splashy deal for Liberty Global, which has been in an expansive mood of late with no sign of any let-up.
The company is offering stock and a special dividend in the transaction.
Latin America has previously been an area Liberty Global, the world’s largest cable company, has wanted to expand its business operations. Liberty earlier this year launched a tracking stock called LiLAC. C&W is active in Panama and the Caribbean. It also operates in Monaco and the Seychelles, but is HQ’d in the U.K. It has 6 million subscribers and offers pay TV, broadband and telephony services.
“The acquisition of Cable & Wireless represents a watershed moment for our recently created LiLAC platform,” commented Liberty Global chief exec Mike Fries. “It will add significant scale and management depth to our fast-growing operations in Latin America and the Caribbean, while creating a new regional consumer and B2B powerhouse.”
Liberty Global is the largest cable company in the world, with 27 million customers across 14 countries. Assets include Virgin Media, Unity Media and Ziggo. The company is looking to diversify its offering by owning more wireless assets so it can get into the quad play business, offeringTV, landline phone, broadband Internet and wireless service.
The company has been on an acquisitions tear of late. Liberty Global, along with Discovery Communications, closed a deal last year to acquire production powerhouse All3Media, which in turn this March closed a deal to acquire Sam Mendes’ Neal Street Productions. Liberty Global has since upped its stake in British broadcaster ITV to 9.9% from 6.4% as well as closing a deal to acquire Ireland’s TV3 in July. This month, it also extended its distribution deal with A+E Networks.