Telecommunications provider Liberty Latin America has expanded into Costa Rica after reaching a deal to acquire an 80% stake in Cabletica, a major cable operator in the Central American country.
The current owners of Cabletica, Televisora de Costa Rica, will retain the remaining 20% in addition to the cable operator’s content assets. The acquisition prices Cabletica at an enterprise value of CRC 143 billion (US$250 million).
Cabletica’s HFC network passes about 562,000 homes – about 40% of the country’s total – and had 207,000 customers purchasing 327,000 services at the end of September last year. The company provides analogue and digital TV, broadband internet, and fixed-line phone services.
Although it competes with the likes of Cablevision, AT&T’s subsidiary DirecTV, and Tigo, Cabletica does not have a mobile offering, which could have been one of the major reasons for the acquisition. Even so, it is not yet clear whether Liberty will use Cabletica to launch telecom services in Costa Rica.
“This transaction is a prime example of our consolidation ambitions, leveraging our unique sub-sea and terrestrial footprint,” said Balan Nair, President and CEO of Liberty Latin America, adding that the region ‘continues to be both under-penetrated and under-served by high-speed data’ services.
Recently spun off into an independent subsidiary by its Liberty Global, Liberty Latin America has extensive operations in Chile, Puerto Rico, and several Caribbean countries.
It operates under a variety of brands including VTR, Flow, Más Móvil, and BTC, with its sub-sea and terrestrial fiber optic cable network connecting over 40 markets in the region.