Liberty Global in Talks With Cable & Wireless

Cable & Wireless Communications, the London-based telephone, broadband and wireless  provider, confirmed that it is in talks with John Malone’s Liberty Global concerning a cash and stock acquisition of the company.

In a statement, Cable & Wireless said it noted the recent press speculation and “confirms that CWC is in discussions with Liberty Global plc regarding a possible shares and cash offer for CWC.”

In the statement CWC noted that according to U.K. Takeover Code, Liberty Global would have to announce its intention to make a firm offer for the company or not by Nov. 19. The company noted that deadline could be extended with the consent of the Takeover Panel.

The confirmation comes of the heels of a Wall Street Journal report that the two were in discussions. According to the Journal, a deal could be worth as much as $5 billion.

Although it is based in London, Cable & Wireless provides pay TV, telephone, data and wireless services in the Caribbean and Latin America and has about 6 million subscribers. The deal would give Liberty Global, which has been pursuing MVNO resale agreements in Europe to offer a quad-play of video, voice, data and wireless, a foothold for a similar service in Latin America and the Caribbean.

Liberty Global already has a presence in Latin America – it spun off those assets in a separate tracking stock in July called Liberty Latin America and Caribbean (LiLAC).  Malone also owns a 14% stake in Cable & Wireless, won after the company purchased Columbus International, in which Malone owned a stake,for $1.9 billion earlier this year.