British mobile giant Vodafone Group looks set to succeed with its bid for Cable & Wireless Worldwide (CWW) after institutional investor Orbis, which holds a 19% stake in CWW, announced it would support the offer. According to Reuters, having initially held out on the basis that it felt Vodafone’s GBP0.38 (USD0.59) per share offer undervalued CWW, Bermuda-based Orbis is thought to have changed its mind, in part as it believed Vodafone would look to adjourn CWW shareholder meetings due today in order to obtain the necessary support for its bid. Claiming that this was ‘not in the interests of any CWW stakeholder,’ the investor confirmed: ‘Accordingly, Orbis intends to vote in favour of the scheme at the meetings today.’ The development also comes in the wake of Vodafone’s revelation that 59% of CWW shareholders had already backed its takeover of the company; it needs 75% of voting shareholders to support the deal in order for it to succeed.
As previously reported by CommsUpdate, in April 2012 Vodafone Group revealed that it had reached an agreement with CWW to acquire the UK fixed line network operator for approximately GBP1.044 billion in cash. Vodafone is expected to use CWW’s fibre network to bolster bandwidth for customers’ increasing demand for data services on its mobile network, and commenting on the deal at its announcement, Vodafone Group CEO Vittorio Colao noted: ‘The acquisition of Cable & Wireless Worldwide creates a leading integrated player in the enterprise segment of the UK communications market and brings attractive cost savings to our UK and international operations.’