Vodafone, one of the largest wireless carriers in Europe, has offered to buy UK-based telecommunications provider Cable & Wireless Worldwide for £1.044 billion ($1.67 billion). The deal will allow Vodafone to expand well beyond its current wireless offerings and become one of the largest telecommunications companies in Europe.
According to Vodafone's statement, issued this morning, Vodafone will pay Cable & Wireless Worldwide's investors 32 pence per share, which is a sizable percentage of CWW's current share price.
Speaking on the deal, Cable & Wireless Worldwide Chairman John Barton said that while the struggling company had formulated it's own strategy to improve its position, this deal would "enable shareholders to crystallise a value, in case, that represents a significant premium to recent trading levels and avoid exposure to the risks inevitably presented by executing a medium-term improvement strategy." The deal would also, he said, provide Cable & Wireless Worldwide's customers access to the various products and services offered by Vodafone.
Meanwhile, Vodafone CEO Vittorio Colao praised the deal, which he said "creates a leading integrated player in the enterprise segment of the UK communications market."
Though the two companies have reached an agreement on the terms of the deal, it still faces regulatory approval.