Vodafone clears major hurdle to CWW acquisition

A major institutional shareholder in Cable & Wireless Worldwide (CWW) (OTC: CBWWF.PK) has agreed to support Vodafone's (LSE:  VOD.L) pending $1.6 billion acquisition of the service provider.  

Orbis Investment Management, which holds a 19 percent stake in CWW, said it agreed to let the deal proceed after CWW announced that over 59 percent of its shareholders filed proxy votes in favor of the acquisition.

Although Orbis said Vodafone's bid "undervalues CWW," it added even if voted not to approve the deal would have gone through anyway.

In order to proceed with the purchase, Vodafone needed 75 percent of shareholders approval.

Vodafone gains two benefits by acquiring CWW.

First, it becomes one of the UK's second largest business service providers, second only to BT (NYSE: BT). It also gains a 20,500 km fiber network that will enable it to decrease its reliance on BT for wireless backhaul to support its growing base of wireless data users.

It will also gain a new 1,740-mile 100G network in Europe that's being built to complement CWW's existing intercontinental 40G network it has in place for the various countries it already serves.

CWW's deal with Vodafone follows a long trail of struggles to retain a solid footing after it completed its demerger with Caribbean-focused Cable & Wireless Communications.

Following the ouster of John Pluthero, Gavin Darby took the CEO helm with a promise to turn the company around. However, CWW's board decided that Vodafone's acquisition proposal was its best bet to get the necessary cash investment it needed to survive.

For more:
 - see this Reuters article

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