Majority Stake in Monaco Telecom Sold to French Investor
Published on: 25th Apr 2014
By: Ian Mansfield
Cable Wireless Communications (CWC) has sold its 55% stake in Monaco Telecom to a private investment vehicle controlled by Xavier Niel the French entrepreneur and industrialist for EUR321.8 million (USD445 million).
Monaco Telecom is the incumbent operator in Monaco where it is the market leader and only full service telecommunications provider. In addition, Monaco Telecom owns 36.75% of Roshan, a mobile network operator in Afghanistan. Monaco Telecom also operates a Service-to-Operator division, which amongst other activities supplies the international country code and international carrier services to Kosovo, and has a service contract with OnAir, a company that provides passenger telephony solutions on board aircraft.
CWC acquired 55% of Monaco Telecom in June 2004 for a price of EUR162 million. The other 45% stake in the company is owned by the Monegasque government.
CWC had previously signed an agreement to sell a 25% stake to Bahrain's Batelco last year for USD100 million, but that deal fell through.
CWC said has received all required legal and regulatory consents to the Disposal, and now just needs shareholder approval to complete the deal.
The cash proceeds arising from the Disposal will reduce the Company's net borrowings thereby increasing its strategic and financial flexibility. Including the proceeds from the Disposal, pro-forma net debt as at 30 September 2013 would have been USD82 million.
Phil Bentley, CEO of Cable & Wireless Communications, commented: "We are pleased to have agreed the sale of our interest in Monaco Telecom with the support of the Principality of Monaco. Over 10 years under our management and in partnership with the Principality we have enhanced the services available to the residents and businesses of Monaco and achieved good returns.
"However, as we concentrate our business on the Caribbean and Latin America, we have taken this opportunity to crystallise the value we have created."