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Cable & Wireless Communications Plc (CWC) agreed to acquire cable TV and Internet provider Columbus International Inc. to expand in the Caribbean and Central America. The deal also gives billionaire John Malone a stake in the enlarged company.

Cable & Wireless will pay $707.5 million in cash and sell 1.56 billion new shares, as well as raise additional debt to finance the $1.85 billion deal, the London-based company said in a statement today.

 “This is a game changer for Cable & Wireless — it puts us very much back on the map,” Chief Executive Officer Phil Bentley said on a conference call today. “This a great opportunity for us to build scale and become the dominant player” in bundled TV, Internet and phone services and business-to-business, Bentley added.

The transaction is expected to add to earnings in the second year after completion. Cable & Wireless will also assume Columbus’s debt of $1.17 billion as of June 30 2015.
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