BRIDGETOWN, BARBADOS – (Marketwire–February 24, 2014): Columbus International Inc. (“Columbus” or the “Company”), a persified telecommunications provider in the Caribbean, Central America and Andean region, is pleased to announce that it has signed a definitive agreement to acquire Lazus S.A.S. (“Lazus”) (formerly Promitel Colombia S.A.S. from Ashmore Management Company (Colombia) S.A.S. (“Ashmore”)). The acquisition represents Columbus’ largest investment to date in Colombia and will further enhance its SME focused Columbus Business Solutions (“CBS”) to offer advanced business-class telecommunications services to the rapidly growing Colombian economy.
Lazus is a privately held telecommunications infrastructure provider operating principally in 10 cities across Colombia. The Company also owns and operates telecommunication systems in Panama City, Panama and San Jose, Costa Rica. Lazus’ extensive, fiber–based network spans approximately 3,500 kilometers, spanning 12 cities represented by a cumulative population base of nearly 23 million people.
“The acquisition of Lazus marks yet another important milestone for Columbus as we continue to execute on our focused business plan,” said Brendan Paddick, chairman and chief executive officer of Columbus. “We have been, and continue to be, big supporters of growth in Colombia and our latest investment further demonstrates our belief in the strength of the Colombian economy and the quality of its people. Coupling Lazus’ high quality network infrastructure with our CBS suite of services will enable Columbus to deliver next generation, business class telecom services to the rapidly growing business community in Colombia. We look forward to welcoming Lazus, its customers and its 190 highly talented professionals into the Columbus family.”
Camilo Villaveces, President and CEO of Ashmore Colombia, commented: “The sale of Lazus highlights the attractive growth opportunities across the Andean region. We have been excited to work with the management of Lazus as they have continued to execute on building their presence in Colombia and regionally. We are also are delighted to have secured an attractive return from the sale of Lazus for both our investors in FIC I and our co–investors who supported us in this transaction.”
Ashmore Colombia is a leading Andean private equity investor in infrastructure with offices in Bogotá. Ashmore Colombia is a subsidiary of Ashmore Group, one of the world’s leading Emerging Markets investment managers with over twenty years’ experience in these markets. Ashmore today manages US$75.3bn (as at 31 December 2013). Headquartered in London, Ashmore Group plc has been listed on the London Stock Exchange since 2006.
Columbus International Inc. is a privately held persified telecommunications company based in Barbados. The Company provides digital cable television, broadband Internet and digital landline telephony in Trinidad, Jamaica, Barbados, Grenada and Curacao under the brand name FLOW and in St. Lucia, St. Vincent & the Grenadines and Antigua under the brand name Karib Cable. Columbus also provides next generation connectivity and IT solutions, managed networking and cloud based services under the brand Columbus Business Solutions. Through its wholly owned subsidiary, Columbus Networks, the Company provides capacity and IP services, corporate data solutions and data center hosting throughout 42 countries in the greater Caribbean, Central American and Andean region. Through its fully protected, ringed submarine fiber optic network spanning more than 42,300 km and its 34,300 km terrestrial fibre and coaxial network, Columbus’ 2,700 plus professionals provide advanced telecom services to a perse residential and corporate client base of over 650,000 customers. Visit www.columbus.co