Liberty Latin America is now officially an independent, publicly-traded company, listed on the NASDAQ Global Select Market, after the split from parent-company Liberty Global.
The new business, which has been almost three years in the making, operates in Panama, Chile, Jamaica, Puerto Rico, several Caribbean island nations and the Seychelles islands in the Indian Ocean, and will have annual revenues of $3.7 billion through 5.3 million subscriptions in of cable TV, internet, mobile and other related services.
“The split-off of our Latin American and Caribbean operations from Liberty Global will ensure that this new company will have access to the capital and resources necessary to achieve superior financial and strategic growth,” said Mike Fries, Executive Chairman of Liberty Latin America and CEO of Liberty Global.
“In a region that is currently served by a highly fragmented range of operators and with customer penetration rates roughly half of more mature markets, we see significant prospects for long-term growth both organically as well as through strategic M&A,” said Balan Nair, CEO of Liberty Latin America.
The move itself will offer a new breath of freedom for an ambitious business facing a tough landscape in the region. Several natural disasters have shattered communities across LATAM, though many services are now back up and running. Despite the adverse conditions, there will be opportunities across the continent, as telcos have struggled to provide a consolidated offering in recent years.
Digicel is one organization which might be a bit wary of the move. After several years of mediocre growth, the last two quarters of natural disasters hit the company hard, while a $50 million restricting charge was absorbed at the end of the last financial year as the team reduced its workforce by 25%.
A refreshed competitor, with support of one of the world’s largest TMT companies, and an eye on consolidation across the region is certainly one to keep an eye on.