The Financial Times is reporting that Hong Kong-based Pacnet has made an informal bid of USD500 million for C&W Worldwide’s (CWW’s) overseas businesses. This includes its global enterprise unit, which serves companies based outside the UK, and its international carrier business, which transports wholesale voice and data traffic. Unnamed analysts said Pacnet’s offer undervalued CWW’s international assets, but added that the sale of them could make the group’s UK business more attractive to potential buyers. CWW has been conducting a wide-ranging review of its operations since its demerger from the old Cable & Wireless in March last year. A sale of the international assets would enable the group to retrench to the UK, where it generates about 75% of its revenue, mainly by providing telecoms services and information technology to companies and public sector bodies.
The board of Cable & Wireless are due to meet this week to consider the Pacnet offer and says it will undertake a further review of group operations. C&WW generated GBP2.26 billion (USD3.49 billion) in revenue in the year ended 31 March 2011, more or less flat with the previous year, with profits up to GBP208 million.
TeleGeography’s GlobalComms Database notes that in September last year Singapore Telecom (SingTel) and American telecoms giant AT&T were both linked to bids for CWW; AT&T had previously been intimated with a takeover attempt for the UK-based firm in August 2008. Whilst AT&T’s renewed interest in the telecoms firm remained largely unsubstantiated, Singtel reportedly contacted bankers in Asia and Europe to discuss its own ideas for the Bracknell-based company.