Bolivia , Colombia , Puerto Rico , Chile and Paraguay

Liberty approaches Millicom with acquisition bid - report

Bnamericas Published: Tuesday, January 15, 2019
Liberty approaches Millicom with acquisition bid - report

Fixed and wireless telco Liberty Latin America has approached regional competitor Millicom with an acquisition bid, according to a report from Reuters, citing sources familiar with the matter.

According to the report, negotiations have been ongoing for several weeks.

Liberty Latin America, since being spun off from Liberty Global last year, has said it is actively seeking to expand in the region through acquisitions.

The company – which consists of VTR Chile, Cable & Wireless Communications and Liberty Puerto Rico – acquired 80% of Costa Rican cable operator Cabletica in October. Then, in December, it was said to be in advanced talks with the government of Curacao to acquire fixed and mobile telecom provider UTS.

With 51mn customers mainly under the Tigo brand, Millicom has a strong presence throughout Central America as well as in Colombia, Bolivia, and Paraguay. The company has also been on a shopping spree acquiring Cable Onda in Panama in October, and began trading on the Nasdaq last week.

If joined, the company would pose a serious challenge to the two main established regional telecoms giants Telefónica and América Móvil.

According to the sources, in addition to borrowing from banks, Liberty is considering rising financing from an investment firm.

When contacted by BNamericas, Millicom and Liberty declined to comment.

Millicom shares jumped 8% to US$72 in New York on the news on Monday. It has a market cap of US$7bn. Liberty's shares rose 2% to US$16.98 for a market cap of US$3.1bn.

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