Vodafone acquires Cable & Wireless Worldwide

Vodafone has acquired telecoms company Cable & Wireless Worldwide for £1bn, a move that is set to put the mobile operator in direct competition with BT.


The takeover means Vodafone will be able to offer consumers and businesses fixed line telephone and broadband services.

The fibre network owned by Cable & Wireless Worldwide is likely to be used to relieve pressure on Vodafone’s mobile networks as demand for data continues its sharp incline.

Cable & Wireless Worldwide provides telecom networks to around 70% of the FTSE 100 and organisations such as the NHS and the police force.

Vodafone says the acquisition will make it a “leading integrated player” in the enterprise segment in the UK and internationally. It will also present “attractive” network and other cost-saving opportunities, the Group says.

Cable & Wireless Worldwide split from Cable & Wireless Communications in 2010 but has issued several profit warnings since the separation and has had three chief executives in the last two years.

Its revenue for the year ending 31 March 2011 was £2.26bn. BT, which Vodafone will now compete with in the fixed line enterprise segment, reported £20.1bn in revenues for the year to 31 March.

Vodafone says there is likely to be a reduction in Cable & Wireless Worldwide’s staff once the takeover is complete. It is not yet clear in which departments job cuts could occur, althoughVodafone says there is likely to be a reduction in headcount where there is administrative or operational overlap.

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