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Vodafone Moots Bid for Telecoms Giant Cable and Wireless Worldwide

Posted: 13th Feb, 2012 By: MarkJ
cable and wireless worldwidevodafone ukCommunications provider Vodafone has confirmed that it is "in the very early stages" of considering whether or not to make a £700 Million cash offer (estimated) for global telecoms giant Cable & Wireless Worldwide (C&W).

Demand for Mobile Broadband services (data traffic), especially in terms of related backhaul capacity, is soaring and some speculate that Vodafone could be looking towards C&W's fixed line supplier network to help balance its growing costs.

The move, if carried forward, could also give Vodafone access to a sizeable chunk of C&W's unbundled ( LLU ) broadband network in the UK. The LLU network helps to supply a number of smaller and medium sized ISPs, such as Tesco Broadband, with flexible internet access solutions.

Such a development could worry some of C&W's LLU partners in the UK. Vodafone has a shaky history in the country's fixed line broadband ISP market and gave up on its own 'Vodafone At Home' service last December 2011 (here). Not that anybody was surprised; Vodafone had been slowly phasing its home broadband service out for awhile.

Vodafone's Full Statement

Vodafone regularly reviews opportunities in the sector and confirms that it is in the very early stages of evaluating the merits of a potential offer for CWW. There is no certainty that an offer will be made nor as to the terms on which any offer might be made. Any offer, if made, will be in cash but Vodafone reserves the right to change the specie of consideration. A further announcement will be made in due course, if appropriate.

In accordance with Rule 2.6a of the Takeover Code, Vodafone is required to, by not later than 5pm on 12 March 2012, either announce a firm intention to make an offer in accordance with Rule 2.7 of the Takeover Code or announce that it does not intend to make an offer, in which case the announcement will be treated as a statement to which Rule 2.8 of the Takeover Code applies unless the Panel on Takeovers and Mergers has consented to an extension of this deadline.

It's no secret that C&W has been struggling with financial problems and some all too frequent managerial changes. The company has reportedly lost 74% of its share value over the past year alone and is currently worth between £500m to £600m. Shares in C&WW were up by over 20% on early trading and Vodafone also saw a more marginal climb of less than 1%.
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