Cable & Wireless Communications Plc (CWC) has announced the sale of the majority of the assets of its Monaco & Islands business unit for an enterprise value of US$680 million to Bahrain Telecommunications Company (Batelco)
It is understood that CWC will divest its entire shareholdings in its businesses in the Maldives, Channel Islands and Isle of Man, the Seychelles, South Atlantic and Diego Garcia as well as creating a partnership with Batelco for CWC’s 55% shareholding in Monaco Telecom. Batelco will have a 25% shareholding in the partnership with CWC maintaining a 75% shareholding.
CWC’s disposal of its Monaco & Islands division is in line with the Company’s strategy to reshape its portfolio of businesses to focus on the Central American and Caribbean region as well as increasing its financial flexibility. The businesses included in the transaction serve a combined 752,000 mobile, fixed, broadband and TV customers.
“We are pleased with today’s announcement that Sure will be joining the Batelco Group," said Eddie Saints, Chief Executive of Sure. "Batelco is an international telecoms operator respected for delivering value and innovation to its customers. Batelco is committed to the continuing development of our businesses in the Channel Islands and Isle of Man and Sure will also benefit from its international partnerships and relationships. Nonetheless, our focus will remain on delivering the best services to our customers."
The acquisition forms part of Batelco's push to grow a global business but the new owners remain mindful of the need to concentrate on the local communities in which the business units operate.
“Sure is a well-managed business that we want to invest in so that it continues to build upon its existing strengths," said Sheikh Mohamed bin Isa Al Khalifa, Batelco Group Chief Executive. "Batelco is in the process of building a telecoms business of global relevance of which the Channel Islands and the Isle of Man will be an important part. We will continue the development of Sure as a market leader and we are looking forward to supporting each of the businesses and contributing to the communities they operate in.”
From a CWC group perspective, Tony Rice, CEO of Cable & Wireless Communications, sees the sale as helping the firm focus on its American businesses.
“The sale of the majority of the Monaco & Islands portfolio is consistent with our objective of building a growth-driven, Pan-America-focused business," said Rice. "We believe that Batelco will be an excellent owner and operator for these businesses, bringing deep telecoms capability and international experience, to continue to invest and grow the businesses.”
The sale is subject to the satisfaction of necessary regulatory and other conditions, and is expected to complete by the end of CWC’s current financial year.