Exclusive: Batelco eyes CWC assets in $1 billion telco deal - sources
By Dinesh Nair and Amran Abocar
DUBAI (Reuters) - Bahrain Telecommunications Co BTEL.BH is in talks with Cable & Wireless Communications CWC.L to buy its assets in Monaco and a host of island nations, a deal potentially worth around $1 billion, three banking and industry sources said.
Batelco, whose move to buy a stake in Zain Saudi (7030.SE: Quote) collapsed last year, is circling the Monaco & Islands portfolio of CWC, the British telecoms group operating in the Caribbean and formed through a demerger of Cable & Wireless in 2010.
Talks between both the parties are ongoing and a deal is not imminent, the sources said on Monday, speaking on condition of anonymity as the matter is not public.
Citi is leading financing efforts for the transaction, according to one banker.
"Batelco has been keen to do a deal for a while now to address falling home revenue. A potential deal to buy CWC assets should give them presence in markets they are not in currently," one the sources said.
Batelco and CWC both declined to comment.
Monaco & Islands operates in 12 markets, including the Maldives, Seychelles and Falkland Islands, and offers fixed-line, mobile, broadband and television services. Its brands include Monaco Telecom, Dhiraagu in the Maldives, and Sure in Britain's Channel Islands and Isle of Man. Continued...