Market Overview

Cable & Wireless Communications Seen as Takeover Target

Cable & Wireless Communications Seen as Takeover Target

One of the oldest names in the communications industry may be up for grabs.

Cable & Wireless Communications (CWC), a British firm whose roots go back to telegraph companies in the Victorian era, is reportedly being considered as a takeover target by two U.S. communications giants, AT&T (NYSE: T) and Liberty Global (NASDAQ: LBTYA).

Cable & Wireless has been in transition for some time now. It is moving its headquarters out of the U.K. and to Miami, Fla. And as the Daily Mail newspaper notes, the company sold off two of its four businesses earlier this year, “as part of its strategy to focus on business on the pan American (Caribbean and America) region.”

In 2010 CWC “demerged” with its sister company, Cable & Wireless Worldwide (CWW). But CWW, with its extensive fiber-optic system in Britain, struggled financially after the separation, and last year it was acquired by Vodafone (NASDAQ: VOD) for $1.7 billion.

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As of January, CWC will also have a new CEO: Phil Bentley, former managing director at British Gas.

The company's Chairman, Sir Richard Lapthorne, noted in October that CWC is entering a new phase. “Following our recent divestments, we now have a business with a single geographic focus and strong balance sheet,” he said in a press statement, “and we are investing in growth areas of mobile data and high-speed broadband.”

Last month, Deutche Bank reportedly gave CWC a Buy rating, while analysts at Jeffries Group issued a Hold in a research note to investors, and JP Morgan Chase reiterated its Neutral rating.

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