By Szu Ping Chan, The Telegraph

Liberty Global, the cable empire owned by John Malone, has announced a £3.5bn deal to buy Cable and Wireless Communications (CWC), extending the reach of the US “king of cable” in Latin America and the Caribbean.

Liberty, which owns Virgin Media, has tabled a cash and shares deal to buy the London-listed Caribbean telecoms operator, which has been recommended by the CWC board.

The deal values CWC at 81.04p a share, including a 3p special dividend if it is approved. The offer represents a 40pc premium on CWC's closing price of 58p per share on October 21, the day before CWC admitted it had been approached by Liberty.

As a result of CWC's varied shareholder register – which includes tens of thousands of small British shareholders – the offer is being made in a number of complex formats to appease large investors and gain support.

The old Cable & Wireless was split in two in 2010 following struggles with debt. Its UK network and international submarine cables were sold to Vodafone, while mobile and fixed line operations dotted around the world became CWC.

Mike Fries, the boss of Liberty Global, described the deal as a “watershed moment” for the company, which is expanding in Latin America and the Caribbean.

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