Bahrain Telecommunications Company (Batelco) yesterday announced the finalisation of its acquisition of the bulk of the Monaco & Islands division of UK-based Cable & Wireless Communications (CWC), which was agreed on 2 December 2012. All necessary regulatory approvals and conditions precedent have now been satisfied and ownership of specific companies across the diverse Monaco & Islands footprint has now been transferred to Batelco, effective 3 April 2013.
Batelco has acquired the entire CWC interest in Dhiraagu (Maldives), Sure Channel Islands, Sure Isle of Man, as well as CWC operations in the Falkland Islands, St Helena, Ascension and Diego Garcia (‘SADG’). Batelco also acquired a 25% shareholding in Compagnie Monegasque de Communications (CMC), which holds CWC’s 55% interest in Monaco Telecom. Total consideration paid for these assets was USD570 million. In addition, Batelco and CWC have entered into put and call arrangements in relation to CWC’s remaining 75% interest in CMC in line with previously announced terms and conditions.
Sure offers telephony services to the Channel Islands and Isle of Man, and is the leading full-service operator in Guernsey with market leading positions in fixed voice, mobile and broadband services.
Dhiraagu is the market leading telecom operator in the Maldives offering mobile, broadband and fixed voice services. Batelco will hold a 52% stake in Dhiraagu, a listed company, with the remaining shares being held by the Maldives government and the public.
SADG offers services to Diego Garcia and three British foreign territories in the South Atlantic: St. Helena, Ascension and the Falklands.
Monaco Telecom is the only full-service telecoms operator in the Principality. Monaco Telecom also owns 36.75% of Roshan, a leading mobile telecommunications operator in Afghanistan.
Batelco group chairman, Shaikh Hamad bin Abdulla Al Khalifa, said the deal will see the group ‘emerge as a communications player of global relevance,’ adding that the acquisition ‘supports our strategy by adding new clusters of operations in new markets and complements our continued efforts to drive value and diversification.’ Shaikh Mohamed bin Isa Al Khalifa, Batelco group CEO, said the purchase represented ‘a giant leap from being essentially a Middle Eastern regional company to become a global enterprise. Today, the scale and diversification of our operations has increased significantly as Batelco group will now have the opportunity to participate, in collaboration with its new business partners, across 16 markets… With the added scale, we hope to achieve greater synergies in areas such as procurement, investments in network infrastructure, applications and content, global roaming arrangements, talent management and executive leadership development, across all the businesses. Additionally, there are benefits to be gained from the transfer of know-how and innovation exchange between all operations… As a result of this deal and the further diversification of our business we have the opportunity to deliver greater innovation and value to our customers across many markets whilst also enhancing our ability to maintain strong levels of profitability and to deliver on our commitments to shareholders,’ concluded Shaikh Mohamed.