FLOW gets yet another new owner

Lime then Flow, now Liberty? It’s official – Cable & Wireless Communications (CWC), the company which trades here as FLOW, has been bought by John Malone’s Liberty Global Plc in a cash-and-stock transaction valued at 3.5 billion pounds (US$5.3 billion), extending the US billionaire’s European cable empire deeper into Latin America and the Caribbean with an eye for more deals in the region.

The deal represents a multiple of 10.7 times CWC’s adjusted annual earnings before interest, depreciation, taxes and amortization, after taking into consideration cost synergies, according to a statement. CWC shareholders will get a special 3 pence a share dividend at the deal’s close. The transaction is valued at 78.04 pence per CWC share, based on Friday’s closing price.

(IMAGE VIA - telegraph.co.uk) The purchase would give Malone a critical mass in Latin America, where he created a tracking stock in July called LiLAC for Liberty Global's assets in Chile and Puerto Rico. Malone spent more than $50 billion the past decade amassing cable companies across Europe. Now, with Cable & Wireless, he is poised to do the same in faster-growing economies in Latin America, and may even spin off that unit in the future, people familiar with the matter said last month, when the companies announced they were in talks.

(IMAGE VIAtelegraph.co.uk) The purchase would give Malone a critical mass in Latin America, where he created a tracking stock in July called LiLAC for Liberty Global’s assets in Chile and Puerto Rico. Malone spent more than $50 billion the past decade amassing cable companies across Europe. Now, with Cable & Wireless, he is poised to do the same in faster-growing economies in Latin America, and may even spin off that unit in the future, people familiar with the matter said last month, when the companies announced they were in talks.

Cable & Wireless, which also owns a network in the Seychelles, received more than half of its $1.75 billion in revenue last year from Panama and the Caribbean. Malone became a shareholder last year when Cable & Wireless bought his cable TV and Internet provider Columbus International Inc. As part of that deal, Malone and the two co-founders of Columbus were given a 36 percent stake of the combined company.

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