Barbados-headquartered telecoms group Columbus International has announced that the chairman of US-based multinational cableco Liberty Global, John Malone, has become the Caribbean firm’s largest single minority shareholder via the acquisition of secondary shares from existing shareholders in addition to the purchase of primary shares that will be issued from Columbus’ treasury. Malone will also have representation on Columbus’ board of directors. The investment in Columbus was made in Malone’s personal capacity and is not connected to Liberty. Columbus intends to use the net proceeds from the issuance of primary shares to accelerate the completion of its current capital plans, fund potential future acquisitions, enhance balance sheet liquidity and flexibility and for general corporate purposes.
Columbus International is a privately held diversified telecommunications company based in Barbados, providing triple-play digital cable television, broadband internet and digital landline telephony in Trinidad, Jamaica, Barbados, Grenada and Curacao under the brand name ‘Flow’ and corporate data and cloud-based services under the Columbus Business Solutions banner. Through its wholly owned subsidiary, Columbus Networks, the company provides capacity and IP services, corporate data solutions and data centre hosting throughout 25 countries in the greater Caribbean, Central American and Andean region.
In September 2012 CommsUpdate reported that Columbus had received formal approval to enter the Barbados local retail telecoms market, via its acquisition of TeleBarbados (which it is in the process of rebranding as Flow).