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Vodafone agrees to Cable and Wireless buy

£1bn deal to boost UK enterprise business, cut costs elsewhere

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After many weeks of negotiations, Vodafone Europe has agreed to acquire Cable and Wireless Worldwide (CWW) for a sum that values the latter company at £1,044m, or £0.38 per share.

The deal comes after Tata last week dropped out of a bid for CWW, which then gave Vodafone a deadline of Noon GMT today (April 23) to make a bid acceptable to the CWW board.

It seems the parties had a busy weekend, as the statement bringing this news to The Register was sent before breakfast, UK time.

In the statement, both Vodafone and CWW say they’ve got financiers on side and recommend the deal to their respective shareholders.

CWW has several businesses. One operates submarine cables and reports suggest Vodafone would offload it in a hurry.

A second business comprises an extensive network of UK fibre optic network, reaching 56 per cent of the population and 400 towns. The statement announcing the transaction says that network “will strengthen the enterprise business of Vodafone Group in the UK and internationally and presents attractive network and other cost saving opportunities for Vodafone Group.”

The deal’s not certain to be done, as Tata apparently has the right to make a new bid. But financial media report the conglomerate’s previous bids were well below the price offered by Vodafone. ®

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