Sun | Feb 26, 2017

Not a penny more than US$2 billion

Published:Sunday | December 7, 2014 | 12:00 AM
Colm Delves, Digicel Group CEO.

Digicel adamant Columbus overpriced at US$3b

Chief Executive Officer of the Digicel Group Colm Delves is adamant that his company would not pay the US$3.025 billion that Cable & Wireless Communications (CWC) is paying for Columbus International, which has made its name operating locally as Flow.

CWC has offered Columbus shareholders cash and shares valued at US$1.85 billion, while assuming debt of about US$1.2 billion.

But Delves declared that he valued Columbus at US$2 billion, even as he refused to comment directly on claims by Phil Bentley, CEO of CWC, that a bid by Digicel for the company was not accepted.

"I firmly stand over that assessment and it is somewhat irrelevant as we decided not to bid at that level," Delves told The Sunday Gleaner.

"Maybe they (CWC) believed that there were other persons bidding against them and maybe there was. I don't know. I have not heard anybody who would have been willing to pay that money, but Digicel could have been interested at a lower price."

Delves also shrugged off claims by Bentley that Digicel's concerns about the deal was "a bit like sour grapes".

According to Delves, while Digicel is moving into other areas such as ICT, cloud computing, cable TV and cable content such as SportsMax as part of its plan to create a complete digital ecosystem, it is doing so at its own pace.

"We have our own strategy and we have been executing our strategy, and that strategy hasn't changed," said Delves as he argued that Digicel's only concern is for a level playing field to enable competition.

"We want to bring competition, but it will take time, and we will continue to invest in the region in our infrastructure to bring that competition."

arthur.hall@gleanerjm.com