Vodafone Europe to buy Cable & Wireless for £1.04bn

The deal follows Tata’s exit from bidding last week.

Vodafone's offices in Düsseldorf, Germany. Credit: Getty Images

 

After weeks of negotiations, Vodafone Europe has signed an agreement to acquire Cable & Wireless Worldwide (CWW) for 38 pence per share – amounting to approximately £1.04bn. The deal follows Tata’s exit from bidding last week.

Vodafone reserves the right to increase the offer if a third party announces an offer for CWW.

The acquisition is expected to strengthen Vodaphone’s enterprise business in the UK and internationally, as well as present network and cost-saving opportunities.

John Barton, chairman of CWW, said:

Under the leadership of Gavin Darby, CWW has outlined a strategy to refocus the business on achieving sustainable cash generation and returns from capital invested. However, the offer from Vodafone announced today will enable shareholders to crystallise a value, in cash, that represents a significant premium to recent trading levels and avoid exposure to the risks inevitably presented by executing a medium-term improvement strategy.

Furthermore, the combination with Vodafone represents an exciting opportunity for CWW’s customers, employees, partners and other stakeholders to benefit from the many advantages that will come from being part of the Vodafone Group.

Vittorio Colao, CEO of Vodafone Group, said:

We are pleased to reach agreement with the board of Cable & Wireless Worldwide, who unanimously recommend our offer. The acquisition of CWW 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 CWW to combine our expertise for the benefit of our customers and shareholders.

UBS is acting as the sole financial adviser to Vodafone and Vodafone Group. Barclays and Rothschild are acting as joint financial advisers to CWW.