Risley and Paddick telecommunications partnership lands another whopper
NEWFOUNDLAND-BORN telecommunications mogul Brendan Paddick is feeling a bit of deal fatigue.It’s understandable. In March of 2015, Paddick and his business partner, John Risley of Clearwater Fine Foods fame, had closed a deal to merge the Barbados-based telecommunications company they co-founded, Columbus International Inc., with London-based Cable and Wireless Communications PLC. The merger created a company with a capital valuation of US$6 billion. Then in November, CWC announced it was being acquired by Liberty Global for US$8.2 billion.
Paddick, who served on the board of directors of CWC along with Risley (Risley was deputy chairman), says he’s thrilled to have been part of the deal. But now that it’s done, he hopes things slow down on the acquisition front for a bit. “CWC’s next press release hopefully just says ‘Deal closes,’” Paddick jokes.
However, it’s unlikely this serial entrepreneur will stay quiet for long. Paddick, who started his career selling cable TV service door-to-door in rural Newfoundland, is used to wheeling and dealing. That’s how he and Risley were able to build Columbus International into a regional telecommunications behemoth before it merged with CWC.
Liberty is a behemoth as well. At the time of the CWC acquisition, the London-based company operated in 14 countries, had 38,000 employees and 27 million customers. By adding CWC’s 3,900 employees and over four million customers in Caribbean and Latin American markets, it’s truly a global company and Paddick and Risley are two of its largest shareholders. Not a bad outcome for a former door-to-door cable TV salesperson.
“Striking this kind of deal wasn’t the plan all along,” Paddick says. “But in an industry where scale matters and consolidation is a never- ending game, John and I felt like this was a match made in heaven.”