Vodafone is prepared to buy UK-based telecom company Cable & Wireless Worldwide (C&WW) for £1 billion (about $1.6 billion), or 38p a share, a premium of 92 percent over market price. The telecommunications giant is believed to be primarily interested in C&WW for its UK fiber network, and intends to sell off its undersea cables business, which includes over 260,000 miles of cables connecting 150 countries, reports The Telegraph.
In addition to C&WW's fiber assets, Vodafone is said to be interested in using the company's core UK division as a way to grow its position in the enterprise market, as the consumer wireless market gets closer to saturation. The deal has been a long time coming, with Vodafone receiving a four-day extension on its Thursday bid deadline after Indian rival Tata Communications and C&WW were unable to reach an agreement. While C&WW's board is unanimously recommending the offer, the deal is still subject to shareholder approval, which isn't guaranteed. The Financial Times reports that Tata was prepared to offer somewhere between 30 and 40p, but some C&WW shareholders were holding out for something in the high-40p range.