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Vodafone does want Cable & Wireless (but shareholders want them to want it more)

  • TC2 Blog
  • 4/23/2012
  • David Rohde

It’s Monday and Vodafone has indeed put in its bid at the deadline for Cable & Wireless Worldwide, at just over £1 billion, or about $1.7 billion. The only problem is that if that price looks low for such a venerable telecom brand – well, that’s exactly what C&WW’s largest single shareholder thinks, and that’s a big hurdle.

As of the end of the business day in London, investment firm Orbis, which owns 19% of C&WW, is in effect objecting to the deal by refusing to provide the formal “irrevocable understanding” that is common in British M&A deals. Vodafone’s offer may be almost double what C&WW was worth on the stock market before it put itself for sale. But it still comes to only 38 pence per share, following a string of financial and market disappointments for C&WW recounted by Reuters in its report today on the latest chapter of the company’s sale attempt.