Thursday 23rd June, 2005


France Telecom eyeing C&W

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France Telecom is preparing a £4b takeover bid for Cable & Wireless, according to the The takeover plan is the brainchild of Michel Combes, the chief financial officer of France Telecom, which is 41 per cent owned by the French state.

Combes believes that acquiring C&W could be the best way to consolidate the French group’s diverse UK interests, which include Orange, the mobile phone group.

Since the start of May, C&W shares have risen from 120p to close on Friday at 147p - a rise of 22 per cent - on the back of takeover speculation.

Although this has made a takeover bid less attractive, bankers believe that France Telecom could be prepared to sell off some of C&W’s assets after a successful takeover. These could include C&W’s overseas businesses, in areas such as the Caribbean, which are worth around £1.5bn. C&W also has around £1.1b in cash on its balance sheet.

©2004-2005 Trinidad Publishing Company Limited

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