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Gov't to review C&W, Columbus Communications acquisition agreement

Published:Friday | November 7, 2014 | 11:06 AM

Jerome Reynolds, Staff Reporter



KINGSTON, Jamaica:

Technology Minister, Phillip Paulwell, says the Government will act in the best interest of Jamaican consumers when it reviews the acquisition agreement between Cable & Wireless Communications and Columbus Communications.




The planned acquisition was announced yesterday.



Cable and Wireless Communication is the parent company of LIME in Jamaica while Columbus Communications, the operator of FLOW, is owned by Columbus International.



The technology minister says he is yet to receive a formal request for approval.



However, Paulwell notes that the matter will be handled with the proper due diligence.



Cable and Wireless says it will pay US$1.9 billion and assume about US$1.2 billion in net debt from Columbus’ balance sheet, pushing the total value of the acquisition to US$3.1 billion.



The announcement came two months after Cable and Wireless’ fierce competitor, Digicel announced its acquisition of majority ownership of International Media Content Limited, the parent company of SportsMax, and North American broadcaster CEEN-TV.



Some Jamaicans have expressed concern that these recent acquisitions may be bad for competition and the lowering of prices in the telecoms market.



But the technology minister says while he understands the concerns about monopolisation, the government has created the right environment to allow additional players to enter the sector.



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