Vodafone Group will acquire Cable & Wireless Worldwide (CWW), which owns the UK’s largest fibre network, for stg£1.04bn in order to strengthen its enterprise business and for cost-saving opportunities.
The deal comes after Tata Communications withdrew its interest in acquiring CWW last week.
Vodafone’s offer is worth 38p per share in cash. It reportedly wants to break up CWW and sell its undersea cables operations. It will also help Vodafone improve its network quality.
"We are pleased to reach agreement with the Board of Cable & Wireless Worldwide, who unanimously recommend our offer,” said Vittorio Colao, CEO of Vodafone Group.
“The acquisition of Cable & Wireless Worldwide creates a leading integrated player in the enterprise segment of the UK communications market and brings attractive cost savings to our UK and international operations.
“We look forward to working with the management and employees of Cable & Wireless Worldwide to combine our expertise for the benefit of our customers and shareholders,” said Colao.
CWW 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.