SAN JUAN – Telecommunications provider Liberty Latin America Ltd. announced Thursday that it has acquired the remaining 40 percent stake in San Juan-based Liberty Cablevision of Puerto Rico, “from funds affiliated” with investment firm Searchlight Capital Partners L.P. in exchange for 9.5 million Liberty Latin America Class C shares.
Colorado-based Liberty Latin America will now own Liberty Cablevision of Puerto Rico entirely. The latter provides video, broadband internet and fixed-line telephony services on the island to nearly 1.1 million homes, “and served 738,500 revenue generating units consisting of 313,100 broadband Internet subscribers, 232,100 video subscribers, and 193,300 fixed-line telephony subscribers,” as of Dec. 31.
Liberty Latin America operates in more than 20 Latin America and Caribbean countries under the consumer brands VTR, Flow, Liberty, Más Móvil, BTC and Cabletica. Besides communications and entertainment services, it offers enterprise-grade connectivity, data center services, hosting and other information technology solutions to businesses and agencies. It also operates a sub-sea and terrestrial fiber optic cable network that connects more than 40 markets in the region.
Liberty Latin America has three separate classes of common shares, which are traded on the NASDAQ Global Select Market under the symbols “LILA” (Class A) and “LILAK” (Class C), and on the OTC link under the symbol “LILAB” (Class B).
The transaction is expected to be “accretive on a free cash flow per share basis for LLA shareholders.” the announcing release explained.
“I want to thank [Liberty Cablevision] CEO Naji Khoury and the entire team at Liberty Puerto Rico for their dedication in transforming the company from a regional cable operator to the island-wide provider of market-leading broadband, pay TV and voice services in Puerto Rico. We are proud of the team’s tireless effort and leadership in rebuilding Liberty Puerto Rico’s network after Hurricane Maria devastated the island,” Eric Zinterhofer, founding partner of Searchlight, which has offices in New York, London and Toronto, said in the release.
“We are pleased to announce this transaction, which reflects the confidence in our Puerto Rican management team and affirms our commitment to Puerto Rico as our business there recovers strongly following a difficult period for the island. At the same time, this further cements our strong relationship with Searchlight and I look forward to continuing to work alongside Eric as a member of our board,” added Balan Nair, president and CEO of Liberty Latin America.