Vodafone Buys Cable & Wireless For £1 Billion

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Mobile giant Vodafone beats Tata to buy C&W’s enterprise networks

Vodafone has bought struggling UK telecoms company Cable & Wireless Worldwide (C&WW) for £1 billion, arming it to move into fixed line communications for enterprise customers.

The deal, which was predicted in February, was sealed today despite a rival bid from up-and-coming telecoms provider Tata Communications. Tata, the network arm of a £55 billion Indian conglomerate, backed out of the bidding last Wednesday, leaving the company to Vodafone, which aims to use the C&WW infrastructure to build services for businesses.

A new integrated UK player?

“The acquisition of C&WW creates a leading integrated player in the enterprise segment of the UK communications market,” said Vodafone CEO, Vittorio Colao in a joint release, “and brings attractive cost savings to our UK and international operations.”

Vodafone is paying 38p for each C&W share, which is roughly double the price they were trading for on Friday, so C&W’s investors are happy. “The offer from Vodafone announced today will enable shareholders to crystallise a value, in cash, that represents a significant premium to recent trading levels and avoid exposure to the risks inevitably presented by executing a medium-term improvement strategy,” added C&W’s chairman, John Barton.

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