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Tecnología / Telecomunicaciones

Cable & Wireless, AT&T making big acquisitions in Latin American region.

Acquisitions announced by Cable & Wireless Communications and AT&T are changing the face of telecommunications in the Caribbean, Central America and Mexico.

Cable & Wireless, which runs operations from the Miami area, is buying Barbados-based telecom provider Columbus International for $1.85 billion to expand in the Caribbean and Central America.

The telecom veteran will pay $707.5 million in cash, sell 1.56 billion new shares and also take on debt to fund the deal, the London-based company said in a news release.

The purchase will give U.S. billionaire investor John Malone a stake in the expanded company. He owns 22 percent of Columbus through one of his private companies and has amassed an international pay-TV empire, Bloomberg News reported.

“This is a game changer for Cable & Wireless -- it puts us very much back on the map,” Cable & Wireless Chief Executive Officer Phil Bentley said on a conference call. “This a great opportunity for us to build scale and become the dominant player” in bundled TV, Internet and phone services.

Based in Barbados, Columbus provides digital cable TV, broadband Internet and digital landline telephony in numerous English-speaking Caribbean nations, plus Internet and data services in 42 countries in the greater Caribbean, Central American and Andean region, its website says.

Meanwhile, Dallas-based telecom veteran AT&T is buying Mexico’s wireless provider Iusacell for $2.5 billion.

The deal marks the first time a U.S. -based wireless carrier will directly offer service outside its home country, news reports said.

"It won't matter which country you're in or which country you're calling - it will all be one network, one customer experience," AT&T CEO Randall Stephenson said in a statement.

Iusacell has more than 8 million subscribers and covers more than 70 percent of Mexico’s population of 120 million people.

Mexico offers AT&T a chance to speed growth as the U.S. market matures. Smartphone penetration in Mexico runs about half the U.S. rate, analysts say.

The purchase comes as Mexico plans to open competition in its wireless industry. The market long has been dominated by Telcel, owned by Mexico’s billionaire Carlos Slim.


Fuente: World City

Mercamerica.es /