CWC in talks to sell Macau business to CITIC

Cable & Wireless Communications (CWC) is in talks to sell its controlling stake in CTM, Macau’s largest telecoms group, to China’s CITIC Telecom.

The sale comes as CWC looks to focus on its Caribbean business with negotiations to sell its operations in Monaco and other islands to Batelco.

The Financial Times cites a person familiar with the discussions as saying that the 51% stake could be worth as much as $800 million.

CTM is Macau’s largest telecoms company with 46.6% wireless market share and a monopoly on both the fixed-line and broadband markets, according to TeleGeography. The Macau business accounts for approximately a fifth of CWC’s revenues and earnings.

“At this point there can be no certainty that the discussions will lead to a transaction. A further announcement will be made, if appropriate, in due course,” CWC said in a statement confirming the talks today.

Macau’s casino industry, which is particularly popular with Chinese visitors, has boosted CTM’s revenue in recent years, making the company an attractive acquisition for CITIC.

CITIC, which is part of a Chinese state-owned conglomerate, already owns a 20% stake in CTM.