C&W’s troubles continue

16 Dec 2002

Troubled UK-based telecoms group Cable & Wireless [CW.L] (C&W) is reported to have received a GBP1.5 billion break-up bid from its smaller rival Thus Group, backed by private equity firms, although both operators have declined to comment. If the plan goes ahead, Thus would take over C&W’s former Mercury telephone network in the UK, while the private equity groups would acquire C&W’s Caribbean operations. The move would involve around 3,500 job cuts at the Global division – which on Friday announced its own plans to cut around 65% of its staff in Europe – and will result in C&W exiting the domestic markets in the US and Europe. The troubled operator, which reported a net loss of GBP4.54 billion for the six months to the end of September, has been seeking to calm fears about the Caribbean mobile business, claiming it is working on a number of new initiatives to ensure it does not lose market share to new entrants in the region.