Cable & Wireless Communications (CWC) last Friday announced that it has agreed the sale of Compagnie Monegasque de Communication (CMC), the holding company for CWC’s 55% stake in Monaco Telecom, to a private investment group controlled by the French entrepreneur Xavier Niel (owner of French telco Iliad), for EUR321.8 million (USD445 million). Monaco Telecom is the incumbent operator in the Principality, where it is the market leader and only full service telecom provider. Further, Monaco Telecom itself owns a 36.75% stake in Afghani mobile operator Telecom Development Company Afghanistan Limited (Roshan), and operates a ‘service-to-operator’ division, which amongst other activities supplies the international country code and international carrier services to Kosovo, and has a service contract with OnAir, a company that provides passenger telephony solutions on board aircraft.
CMC reported revenue of USD218 million, EBITDA of USD74 million and pre-tax profit of USD52 million in the twelve months to 31 March 2013. At 30 September 2013 (latest data published), CMC had USD537 million of gross assets and approximately 35,000 mobile, 34,000 fixed line and 17,000 broadband customers. In its statement, CWC said that the agreed USD445 million price reflected Monaco Telecom’s strong financial performance and market position, and represented a multiple of 8.4 times CMC’s proportionate EBITDA based on results for the twelve months to 31 March 2013. CWC acquired 55% of Monaco Telecom in June 2004 for EUR162 million. It says it has received all required legal and regulatory consents to the transaction from the Principality of Monaco. The divestment forms another part of CWC’s strategy to focus on the Caribbean and Latin America region.