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UPDATE 3-Liberty Global expands in Caribbean with Cable & Wireless buy
November 16, 2015 / 7:54 PM / 2 years ago

UPDATE 3-Liberty Global expands in Caribbean with Cable & Wireless buy

* Deal valued at about $8.2 bln, including debt

* Shareholders will get 3p/shr special dividend

* Offer of 78.04 pence per share (Adds analyst comment, details, background, updates shares)

By Mamidipudi Soumithri and Abhirup Roy

Nov 16 (Reuters) - John Malone-backed Liberty Global Plc offered to buy Cable & Wireless Communications Plc for 3.6 billion pounds ($5.5 billion) to extend its reach in the Caribbean.

London-based Cable & Wireless describes itself as "the go-to player" in the Caribbean and Latin America. Malone, the U.S. 'King of Cable', bought about 13 percent in the company through a holding company in March.

The stock offer for Cable & Wireless is valued at 78.04 pence per share, a premium of about 6 percent to Cable & Wireless's Monday close.

Shareholders will also receive a special dividend of 3 pence per share.

Pivotal Research Group analyst Jeff Wlodarczak said the deal was valued at nine times EBITDA, adding that it was an "attractive price".

Cable & Wireless offers home Internet, TV, landline and mobile phone, the so-called "quad play" package sought by companies such as Vodafone Plc and Liberty.

Cable & Wireless had more than six million customers as of March, primarily in the Caribbean, Panama, Monaco and the Seychelles.

The combined business would serve 10 million video, data, voice and mobile subscribers, Liberty Global's Chief Executive Mike Fries said in a statement.

Liberty Global has been growing through acquisitions. It bought Dutch cable operator Ziggo NV last year and British cable group Virgin Media in 2013.

The Cable & Wireless deal comes nearly two months after Liberty Global and Vodafone ended talks regarding a swap of assets as they could not agree on valuations.

The company raised its stake in ITV Plc to 9.9 percent in July but squashed rumours of a takeover.

Cable and Wireless said the Liberty Global offer values the company at about $8.2 billion, including debt.

Liberty Global shares closed little changed at $41.47. Shares of CWC closed at 73.54 pence. ($1 = 0.6577 pounds) (Reporting By Mamidipudi Soumithri and Abhirup Roy in Bengaluru; Editing by Don Sebastian)

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