Vodafone to get go-ahead to acquire Cable & Wireless Wordwide

18 Jun 2012

The biggest shareholder group in Cable & Wireless Worldwide (CWW) has decided to withdraw its opposition to Vodafone’s proposed stg£1bn offer to buy the fixed line group. The acquisition will give Vodafone access to substantial fibre assets in the UK, Ireland and globally.

Institutional investor Orbis says it will now support the stg£0.38 per share offer by Vodafone.

It is understood that 59pc of Cable & Wireless’ shareholders back the offer so far.

Vodafone plans to break up CWW and sell its undersea cables operations. It will also help Vodafone improve its network quality.

Fixed-line empire

WW owns the UK’s largest fibre network for business and has an international cable network across Europe, India and Asia. It also offers voice, data and hosting services for the UK government and companies such as Tesco.

It spun off from Cable and Wireless PLC in 2010, but it struggled during the recession and with the decrease in fixed-line phone calls. It has seen a number of managerial changes during this time and its stock price has dropped rapidly.

Until today, Orbis has been against the Vodafone takeover on the grounds that the 38p offer undervalued CWW’s assets.

However, today it said it plans to vote in favour of the deal.

John Kennedy is a journalist who served as editor of Silicon Republic for 17 years