Batelco takes over CWC units for $570m
Manama, April 3, 2013
Bahrain's leading telecoms services provider Batelco Group on Wednesday said it has successfully acquired several units of British multinational telecommunications company Cable & Wireless Communications (CWC) including its Monaco and Islands division for $570 million.
Announcing this on Wednesday, Batelco’s Group CEO Shaikh Mohamed bin Isa Al Khalifa said following its agreement with CWC last December, the company got all necessary regulatory approvals from its shareholders "and now the ownership of specific companies has been transferred to Batelco, effective today."
As per the deal, Batelco has acquired the entire CWC interest in Dhiraagu (Maldives), Sure Channel Islands and Isle of Man and CWC operations in Falkland Islands, St Helena, Ascension and Diego Garcia (SADG) besides a 25 per cent shareholding in Compagnie Monégasque de Communications SAM (CMC), which holds CWC’s 55 per cent interest in Monaco Telecom, for $570 million.
CIIM, operating through the ‘Sure’ brand, offers telephony services to the Channel Islands and Isle of Man. It is the leading full service operator in Guernsey with market-leading positions in fixed-voice, mobile and broadband services.
Dhiraagu is the market leading telecom operator in the Maldives offering mobile, broadband and fixed voice services. Batelco will hold a 52 per cent stake in Dhiraagu, a listed company, with the remaining shares being held by the Maldives Government and the public.
SADG offers services to Diego Garcia and three British foreign territories in the South Atlantic: St. Helena, Ascension and the Falklands.
Monaco Telecom is the only full services telecommunications operator in the Principality. Monaco Telecom also owns 36.75 per cent of Roshan, a leading mobile telecommunications operator in Afghanistan.
In addition, Batelco and CWC have entered into put and call arrangements in relation to CWC’s remaining 75 per cent interest in CMC in line with previously announced terms and conditions.
Batelco Group chairman, Shaikh Hamad bin Abdulla Al Khalifa said: “Batelco Group is very pleased to formalise this transaction which will see the Group emerge as a communications player of global relevance and Bahrain’s most diversified international company. With the acquisition of these businesses from CWC, we are extending our reach and taking our expertise to several new markets across the globe.”
“This acquisition supports our strategy by adding new clusters of operations in new markets and complements our continued efforts to drive value and diversification,” he added.
Following the signing to finalise the acquisition, Shaikh Mohamed said: "This is an auspicious day for Batelco Group as we take a giant leap from being essentially a Middle Eastern regional company to become a global enterprise."
"Today, the scale and diversification of our operations has increased significantly as Batelco Group will now have the opportunity to participate, in collaboration with its new business partners, across 16 markets," he added.
“We look forward to visiting our new companies to meet management and staff to establish sound working relationships in order to ensure the continued delivery of value and innovation to their customers," said Shaikh Mohamed.
“With the added scale, we hope to achieve greater synergies in areas such as procurement, investments in network infrastructure, applications and content, global roaming arrangements, talent management and executive leadership development, across all the businesses. Additionally, there are benefits to be gained from the transfer of know-how and innovation exchange between all operations,” he added.
“As a result of this deal and the further diversification of our business we have the opportunity to deliver greater innovation and value to our customers across many markets whilst also enhancing our ability to maintain strong levels of profitability and to deliver on our commitments to shareholders,” he added.-TradeArabia News Service