Batelco in talks to make $1 billion investment in CWC assets

18 September 2012 | Kavit Majithia


Batelco is reportedly interested in acquiring Cable & Wireless Communications (CWC) telecoms operations in the Maldives, Seychelles and Falklands.

The Bahraini telecoms company is in early talks with CWC about buying stakes in the businesses, and the assets could be sold for as much as $1 billion, according to the Financial Times.

News of a possible deal will be a welcome boost to CWC shareholders, whose dividend halved earlier this year.

Batelco has been in the market to increase its international portfolio after its proposed deal for Zain Saudi collapsed earlier this year.

A deal, however, is not imminent after Batelco’s chief executive, Sheikh Mohamed bin Isa Al Khalifa, said there is no certainty of a transaction. CWC said in a statement that an approach had been received and “a further announcement will be made, if appropriate, in due course.”

Market watchers have commented that CWC has long been in the market to divest its island assets, and its unit in Macau to give it more focus in its core business in the Caribbean.

Its Macau unit has also attracted interest from Chinese operators in the past. CWC was formed through a demerger from UK-based Cable&Wireless in 2010.

Batelco told newswire Reuters earlier this year that it planned to make at least one acquisition in 2012, after falling domestic revenue.