Telecommunications company LIME has not ruled out the possibility of an acquisition of, or collaboration with, its competitors in the future.
In fact, LIME Caribbean chief executive officer Martin Roos said the company had no intention of losing its mobile market in particular, and he has predicted that, as some players struggle, “consolidation will happen”.
However, when asked to confirm rumours that LIME had made a bid to purchase aspects of one of its competitors’ operations, Roos said “it is all speculation”.
“There is no point in speculating. There are other companies that have tried to bid for us in the past. There are companies that try to bid for FLOW, there are other companies that try to bid for Digicel. These are things that possibly happen, but there is no substance to such rumours,” he said.
Roos was responding to questions from Barbados TODAY following an update on the company’s investment in its networks in Barbados and across the region.
He said there would continue to be acquisitions across the region, pointing to the Jamaica market where one company in the industry was purchased by one of its competitors because it was “not economically sustainable”.
“And we predict that in many Caribbean islands it is difficult, from an economy of scale perspective, to sustain more than two players. We have seen in, let’s say the last year, other operators in the region have gone about acquiring other players. So I think we can predict that consolidation will happen. Cable & Wireless has no intention to see our markets go the same way as has happened to us in the past when it came to mobile in some markets. We are here to take the fight and if consolidation is going to happen we will be looking at how we can be a part of it,” Roos said.
He also sent a strong message that LIME was in Barbados to stay.
Roos said if people had the idea that the company would shut shop and move out of the country in the near future, based on its exit from other countries in recent times, they should dismiss the thought. In fact, Roos said the company’s ongoing investment of more than US$1 billion in the reigon was testament that the telecommunications company was here for the long haul.
“I am here today to make it absolutely crystal clear that Cable & Wireless, LIME, is here to stay and we want to engage with Barbados, its citizens, businesses, Government and its diaspora, as well as the fellow Caribbean countries,” he said.
The LIME chief said “with the blessings” of shareholders the proceeds from all of the sold assets would be invested in the company’s core markets – the Caribbean and Panama.