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GLOBAL EXPANSION

Batelco wins approval for CWC units' acquisition

Manama, January 14, 2013

Bahrain's Batelco Group, the regional telecommunications operator with operations across six countries, has won approval from its shareholders for the acquisition of the various companies from Cable & Wireless Communications (CWC) including its Monaco and Islands division.

Announcing this on Monday, Batelco said based on the tabulation of votes taken at the ordinary general meeting it has received the requisite majority shareholder nod for its proposed acquisition of entire CWC interest in Maldives, Channel Islands and Isle of Man, the Seychelles, South Atlantic and Diego Garcia.

Besides the Bahraini firm also won approval for acquiring a 25 per cent shareholding in Compagnie Monagesque de Communications (CMC), which holds CWC’s 55 per cent interest in Monaco Telecom.

In addition, Batelco and CWC have entered into put and call arrangements in relation to CWC’s remaining 75 per cent stake in CMC, allowing Batelco to acquire a controlling interest in Monaco Telecom in line with certain terms and conditions, said the company in a statement.

Speaking after the meeting at its Hamala headquarters, Batelco Group chairman, Shaikh Hamad bin Abdulla Al Khalifa said, “The board is delighted that our shareholders have shown support for this transformative acquisition, which will see the company emerge as an international telecommunications company of reference."

"We have been pursuing a strategy of diversification and this acquisition will greatly further our efforts to both broaden our geographic footprint as well as add important new revenue streams,” he remarked.

“This transaction is expected to be accretive to the underlying earnings of Batelco from the outset, and we are confident that we will be able to enhance value for shareholders through the benefits derived from greater diversification, added scale and expertise, and the combined market leadership Batelco and the companies we are acquiring already enjoy in their markets, which together total 17 countries with strategic clusters in the Middle East, Monaco, Indian Ocean, Channel Islands and the South Atlantic.”

Batelco Group CEO Shaikh Mohamed bin Isa Al Khalifa said, "This transaction is instrumental in our efforts to continue to increase the scale of our operations and further build our leadership in our six existing markets throughout the Middle East as well as on a global basis."

"Working closely with the management teams and companies we will acquire, Batelco expects to drive further value for our customers across both current and new markets. The expansion of our network and reach not only provides for significant benefits to customers, it also enables us to achieve synergies and reach greater efficiencies in our operations," he stated.

"We are excited to enter a phase of development and to maximise the opportunities for growth that lie ahead," he added.

Shareholders also approved the issuance by the company of debt instruments up to a value of $1 billion as well as authorising and delegating the board with all of the necessary authority in relation to determining the timing and conditions related to the issuance of any debt instruments and the steps required to issue them after obtaining the approval of the Central Bank of Bahrain.

The acquisition, which has been approved by the shareholders of CWC last week, remains subject to respective consents and approvals in each of the markets as applicable and other certain closing conditions.-TradeArabia News Service




Tags: Bahrain | Batelco | investors | Monaco | Cable & Wireless |

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