Batelco almost ready to move on CWC acquisition

Purchase of Monaco assets will yield stakes in 12 markets

Tags: BahrainBahrain Telecommunications CompanyCable & Wireless Communications (www.cwc.com)Monaco
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Batelco almost ready to move on CWC acquisition he purchase will happen in two stages, the first backed by a $650m loan.
By  Stephen McBride Published  December 5, 2012

Bahrain Telecommunications (Batelco) is on the verge of securing a $650m loan to acquire Cable & Wireless Communications' Monaco assets, thus giving it a bridge to stakes in operators covering 12 markets, Reuters reported.

Peter Kaliaropoulos, CEO, strategic assignments, Batelco, yesterday told the news agency that his company was in the process of securing a 12-month bridge loan, to be replaced by a bond at the end of its term.

The CWC deal is said to be worth up to $1bn and involves the purchase of assets by Batelco in two phases. In the first, Bahrain's government-controlled operator will buy CWC's Monaco and Islands division for around $680m, backed by the $650m loan from Citigroup and BNP Paribas. This acquisition will encompass entities that have stakes in other telcos spread across12 markets including the Channel Islands, the Maldives, and the Seychelles, providing a range of services including fixed-line, mobile, broadband and television services.

Batelco will take a 25% stake in Compagnie Monagesque de Communications (CMC), which is the holder of CWC's 55% share of Monaco Telecom, which holds a 36.8% stake in Afghan mobile operator Roshan.

While a financing strategy for the second phase has yet to be decided, according to Kaliaropoulos, it will involve Batelco's purchase of a controlling interest in CWC's remaining 75% stake in CMC for $345m.

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