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Vodafone confirms interest in CWW
13 February 2012
Vodafone may offer £700m for global telecommunications company
Cable & Wireless
Vodafone is considering a bid for Cable & Wireless Worldwide for £700 million, in weekend reports that have been conformed by Vodafone on Monday morning.
The London-based Sunday Times — which suggested the £700 million valuation — suggested potential bidders could move if Gavin Darby, the new CEO of C&W Worldwide, was able to stabilise the company. The paper also reported that Apax Partners is “running the rule over Cable & Wireless Worldwide”.
In a statement, Vodafone said that “it is in the very early stages of evaluating the merits of a potential offer for CWW”, but said “there is no certainty that an offer will be made nor as to the terms on which any offer might be made”, though the company added: “Any offer, if made, will be in cash but Vodafone reserves the right to change the specie of consideration.”
Darby took over at CWW in November 2011, replacing John Pluthero. He was previously with Vodafone, as CEO of the UK business and then CEO responsible for the US, Africa, India and China.
CWW is half of the former Cable & Wireless group that split into two independent quoted companies in 2010. The other component, Cable & Wireless Communications, which is not the subject of the Vodafone statement, owns mobile and fixed networks in the Caribbean and a number of small communities from Monaco to Macao.
CWW, which Vodafone is looking at, is a largely UK-based enterprise network with some global corporate operations.
Under the UK’s takeover code, Vodafone has a month to decide either to announce “a firm intention to make an offer ... or announce that it does not intend to make an offer”. Under the rule, that would lock Vodafone out of a bid for a further six months unless the UK’s takeover panel agreed. GTB
Further reading from Global Telecoms Business:
C&W Worldwide retains UK government deals 20 Oct 2010
Interview: Phil Male of Cable & Wireless Worldwide 24 Mar 2010
C&W execs on the company after the split 24 Mar 2010