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Cable and Wireless Monaco and Islands division sold to Bahrain Telecoms

Monday, December 3rd 2012 - 20:36 UTC
Full article 11 comments
C&W earth station at Stanley, Falklands C&W earth station at Stanley, Falklands

Cable and Wireless Communications have announced the sale of the majority of its Monaco and Islands division which includes the Falklands. The company has accepted 680m dollars (£420m) from Bahrain Telecommunications Company (Batelco) for the division which operates broadband and telephone lines.

Monaco and Islands operates services in the Channel Islands, Falkland Islands and the Maldives among other areas.

Tony Rice, CEO of Cable and Wireless Communications, said the move was part of a focus on growth in the Americas.

The sale includes all operations in the Maldives, Isle of Man, Channel Islands, Seychelles, Diego Garcia and South Atlantic islands, as well as part of its holdings in Monaco.

Sheikh Mohamed bin Isa Al Khalifa, chief executive of Batelco, said the company would invest in the islands' telecommunications.

He said: “[It] is a well-managed business that we want to invest in so that it continues to build upon its existing strengths.”

The sale will need to pass final regulatory conditions, and is expected to be complete by the end of the financial year.

State-controlled Batelco, which has little debt, has reported falling profit in nine of the past 10 quarters and this slump has led it to expand abroad, although its moves had been limited to Middle Eastern countries like Jordan, Yemen, Saudi Arabia and Kuwait.

The deal also includes a 25% shareholding in Compagnie Monagesque de Communications (CMC), which holds CWC a 55% interest in Monaco Telecom. Monaco Telecom in turn holds a 36.8% stake in Roshan, a mobile phone operator in Afghanistan.

The total price for these transactions is 680 million, Batelco said on Monday, adding it had appointed BNP Paribas and Citigroup to help it raise up to $1 billion though a bond issue and a loan facility.

In a separate statement, CWC said the Batelco deal would cut its debt to 937 million. The operator is also in talks to sell a majority stake in Macau’s largest telecom group.

“Our strategy to expand in Central America and the Caribbean is predicated on really moving out of all aspect of the eastern part of our business, so Monaco and the Islands and Macau,” said CWC finance director Tim Pennington.

Top Comments

Disclaimer & comment rules
  • briton

    why cant the BBC do it.

    Dec 03rd, 2012 - 08:50 pm 0
  • LEPRecon

    Oh no! I thought that Bahrain supported Argentina's spurious claims on the Falklands! Oh wait, no they never had.

    I wonder if Argentina will try to take them to court.

    @1 Briton

    The Falklands deserve a decent company, the BBC has been falling short in that area in spades.

    The Falklanders will probably be able to get the BBC, although I'll admit I'm a little ignorant of exactly what service they get now.

    Any Falklanders, how is this going to affect you? Do you get BFBS? BBC? Sky?

    Will the service be improved under this new management?

    Awaiting your comments (RG trolls need not reply).

    Dec 03rd, 2012 - 09:14 pm 0
  • Joe Bloggs

    2 LEPRecon

    We get BFBS and Chilean-sourced satellite TV plus one locally produced station. I don't know how this deal will affect us. Time will tell.

    Dec 03rd, 2012 - 09:56 pm 0
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