Cable & Wireless chief Phil Bentley on Liberty Global takeover: “This is an offer that doesn’t come along every day”

Clara Guibourg
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Phil Bentley, chief executive of Cable & Wireless
"We were a big fish in the small Caribbean sea" (Source: Cable & Wireless)

Cable & Wireless chief exec Phil Bentley said the deal with Liberty Global would boost growth helped by the sheer scale of Liberty Global’s business.

“We’re a $2.5bn business, and Liberty Global are an $18bn business,” Bentley said to City A.M. shortly after announcing that his company had agreed to Liberty’s £3.5bn takeover offer after weeks of negotiations.

Read more: What you need to know about the deal between Liberty Global and Cable & Wireless

Liberty Global will be paying 86.82p per share in cash for the telecoms company active in Latin America and the Caribbean, a 50 per cent premium on the share price before the takeover bid was made public.

Scale was a key factor in the decision, according to Bentley.

We were a big fish in the small Caribbean sea, but we’re in with the bigger boys now, and that can only be good for our customers and good for our people are we continue to grow.

Cable & Wireless shareholders are also likely to welcome the news, as the company has been sold for 12.3 times its EBITDA multiple.

Shares in the firm have leapt nearly 29 per cent since the talks with Liberty Global were made public.

Bentley admits Liberty Global’s offer was unexpected:

If you ask me ‘Is this something you sought?’, the answer is no. But offers like this don’t come along every day.

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