Barbados-based international carrier and triple-play broadband provider Columbus International has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire local rival TeleBarbados. The deal is part of a purchase of all of the issued and outstanding shares of Antilles Crossing (Barbados) IBC Inc and Antilles Crossing Holding Company (St. Lucia) Limited from Caribbean Fibre Holdings LP. The transaction includes the purchase of TeleBarbados Inc, Tele-St. Lucia Inc and Wamco Technology Group Limited.
TeleBarbados owns and operates a fibre-based telecoms network in Barbados and provides advanced voice and data services to consumers and corporate customers via wireless and fixed access technologies. It holds licences to provide domestic and international voice/data services, wholesale backhaul bandwidth capacity, internet exchange services, managed data network services, virtual private networks, public internet access, fixed wireless telecom services, and various wireless spectrum-based services. Tele-St. Lucia holds a series of licences to provide similar services throughout St. Lucia.
Commenting on the transaction, Columbus’ CEO, Brendan Paddick said: ‘Columbus plans to invest heavily in Barbados over the next 24 to 36 months in launching triple-play broadband internet, digital landline telephone and advanced internet protocol-based video services… In addition, Columbus will be launching a series of corporate data, connectivity and IT services… With our recently announced USD225 million credit facility, Columbus is well positioned to make an immediate and significant direct investment in infrastructure in Barbados, resulting in the launch of a host of new advanced consumer and corporate services, the creation of hundreds of new high technology jobs and lower prices leading to a more competitive Barbados in the global economy. We welcome TeleBarbados’ 60 talented professionals to the Columbus team.’
Columbus already operates triple-play digital cable television, broadband internet and digital landline telephony in Jamaica, Trinidad, Grenada and Curacao under the brand name ‘Flow’, and corporate data services via its Columbus Business Solutions unit. Through its wholly owned subsidiary Columbus Networks it provides capacity and IP services, corporate data solutions and data centre hosting throughout 23 countries in the Caribbean, Central American and Andean regions. TeleGeography notes that the group owns several undersea fibre-optic cable systems: Fibralink, between Jamaica and the US; CFX-1 linking Jamaica, Colombia and the US; and ECLink, from Trinidad to Curacao, which connects to the ARCOS regional submarine ring network (in which Columbus is a stakeholder).