Sunday 17 February 2019

Malone needs Latin America plan B after takeover bid fails

Post Malone: John Malone, CEO of Liberty Global, has to come up with a new plan for his Liberty Latin America operation
Post Malone: John Malone, CEO of Liberty Global, has to come up with a new plan for his Liberty Latin America operation

Nick Turner and Scott Moritz

John Malone needs a backup plan for Latin America. It's been a year since the billionaire launched a spinoff to focus on the region, splitting Liberty Latin America Ltd from his Europe-focused telecom carrier Liberty Global, which owns Virgin Media Ireland.

The idea was to capitalise on operations in places like Chile, Puerto Rico and the Caribbean, and look for ways to ramp up growth. But one of Liberty Latin America's biggest expansion plans - a proposed $7.6bn takeover of Millicom International Cellular - has faltered.

Mr Malone's company terminated the talks after Millicom raised concerns about the merger. Shares in both companies tumbled. The famously deal-hungry Malone, who has a large Irish portfolio, can now pursue other transactions. The problem is, there aren't a lot of options.

"There's no obvious other M&A target that is anywhere near the significance of Millicom," said Kevin Roe, an analyst at Roe Equity Research. For now, Liberty will probably focus on smaller Latin American cable deals, he said.

Bloomberg

Bloomberg

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