C&W rumoured to be selling off European businesses

2 Jun 2003

According to analysts at Total Telecom Magazine, UK-based heavyweight Cable & Wireless (C&W) [CW.L] is planning to redefine its shape into a more streamlined operation and sell its assets in Italy, Spain, France and Germany. The decision follows a similar move last month, when C&W handed over around 80% of its customer base in the Netherlands, Belgium, Sweden and Russia to a management buyout team, creating a new company, IP-eYe. Under the terms of the agreement, the two companies act as resellers for each other with IP-eYe reselling C&W’s international network services such as frame relay and IP-VPN and C&W reselling the new company’s network integration services. Analysts believe that the IP-eYe deal will act as a model for other companies wishing to take a similar approach to streamlining.

C&W hopes that the move will help it to provide its customers in the UK, the Carribean and the Middle East – where it is among the top players – with a better quality of service. According to company executives, plans to sell the telco’s SME unit in Italy are already underway, although the deal has not been announced publicly. The Rome-based business will now be controlled by a consortium comprising current C&W Italy executives and a third, as yet unnamed, party. The company said it plans to tackle its operations in France and Spain next, although it claims that negotiations in these countries will take longer as they are more complex.

United Kingdom