French telco Iliad (Free) has reportedly entered into exclusive discussions with UK-based Cable & Wireless Communications (CWC) for the acquisition of Monegasque monopolist Monaco Telecom (MT), which is valued at around USD720 million. According to TMT Finance, which cites unnamed sources, CWC has appointed an advisor for the deal, while Iliad will be self-advised.
As previously reported by TeleGeography’s CommsUpdate, CWC repurchased a 25% shareholding in MT’s holding company Compagnie Monegasque de Communications (CMC) from Batelco in November 2013, after the deal failed to gain regulatory approval from the authorities. Although CWC was said to be ‘happy’ to be active in the Principality in the short term, company executives confirmed that Monaco does not fit in with CWC’s long-term strategy to grow its business in the Caribbean and Latin America. Monaco currently accounts for around 13% of the group’s revenue. The 45% of MT not owned by CWC is held by a company controlled by the Principality’s government.