C&W Worldwide cautious on Vodafone offer vote

Cable & Wireless Worldwide shareholders will meet next Monday to vote on whether to accept Vodafone’s £1.04 billion takeover offer.

Vodafone agreed to buy Cable & Wireless Worldwide in April. At the time the latter’s directors recommended unanimously that shareholders vote in favour of the offer.
However, during a panel session at Total Telecom Wireless World this week, a representative of the U.K. network operator revealed that support for the acquisition is by no means universal.
“It’s not all that clear cut,” noted Dominic Jones, managing director of C&W Worldwide’s apps division and practice area.
“We have some [shareholders] who are in favour and others who will show up on the day,” he said.
Indeed, Vodafone requires the holders of 75% of C&W Worldwide stock to support its offer for the deal to go through, and it is widely known that its largest shareholder Orbis, which owns a 19% stake, believes the deal undervalues the company.
However, Vodafone’s ambitions have also received a recent boost in the form of Institutional Shareholder Services (ISS), according to a Telegraph report last week. The company represents around 10% of Cable & Wireless’ shareholders, and recommended they vote in favour of the deal.
Jones said the combination of the two companies could open a “whole new world” of opportunities, particularly around unified communications.