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Cable & Wireless Worldwide shareholders OK Vodafone takeover

Second biggest telco in Blighty grabs 20,000km of fibre

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More than 99 per cent of voting shareholders have approved the takeover of Cable & Wireless Worldwide by Vodafone, despite suggestions that one of the largest was holding out for more money.

Vodafone put £1,044m on the table at the end of April, but Orbis Investment Management threatened to vote its 19 per cent holding against the deal in the hope of getting a better offer. A 75 per cent majority was needed to push the deal through, leading to some sleepless nights, but it seems shareholders couldn't resist the lure of the lucre.

Sixty per cent of the shareholders turned out to vote, with 99.1 per cent of those who turned up backing the deal - which will make Vodafone the second largest telecommunications company in the UK (after BT) with annual revenues around £7bn. More importantly it gives Vodafone access to 20,400km of fibre-optic cable around the UK, which it can quickly use to reduce its reliance on BT's infrastructure.

Not included in the deal is Cable & Wireless Communications, which will continue to carry the company name in providing telco services in the Caribbean and Panama. ®

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