By Paul Sandle, Reuters

LONDON, Nov 6 (Reuters) – Cable & Wireless Communications has agreed a deal to buy Columbus International, a fibre-based telecoms provider backed by cable TV billionaire John Malone, for $1.85 billion to boost its mobile, fixed line, broadband and TV offer in the Caribbean.

London-listed C&W, which sold its operations in Monaco and Macau in the past two years, said the deal would accelerate its push into multiple services, particularly with Malone on board.

Malone, chairman of cable group Liberty Global, will own about 13 percent of C&W after the acquisition. Privately owned Columbus's other major stakeholders are co-founders John Risley and Brendan Paddick, who will also become C&W shareholders.

C&W Chief Executive Phil Bentley said that Columbus would inject “state-of-the-art TV and broadband technology” into C&W.

“We will have the premier mobile network, the best fibre network and the best backhaul submarine networks (which support data capacity) across the region,” he said on Thursday.


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