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C&W flogs Japanese biz

IDC not a 'good strategic fit'

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UK telco Cable and Wireless is to flog its Japanese business - Cable & Wireless IDC Inc. (IDC) - to Japanese internet and telecoms outfit Softbank for £72.4m. Although C&W reckons IDC is a "sound business operating in a highly competitive market", it reckons that it is not a "good strategic fit" as it continues to focus on its "primary markets".

The deal is expected to be completed at the beginning of 2005 and includes Softbank taking on £9.5m in debt. C&W operations in other Asian markets - including Hong Kong, China, Singapore, Macau and India - are unaffected by the sale.

IDC provides voice, data and IP services to business customers in Japan and racked up revenues of £255m last year. Proceeds from the sale of IDC will be pumped into the running of the rest of the C&W group. Although C&W is getting rid of the business, it will hang onto two international data nodes to allow the company to provide services to and from Japan.

Separately, C&W is to unveil its first UK advertising campaign for four years from tomorrow. A series of press ads will position C&W as the "leader in integrated communications and IT infrastructure solutions for business". Said C&W's UK marketing bod: "This integrated campaign sends a clear signal to the market that Cable & Wireless means business. We have a clear vision and a strong brand proposition." ®

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