Cable and Wireless Communications, the company that runs the Sure telephone service in the island, has been sold.
CWC will sell its operations in the Isle of Man, The Maldives, Channel Islands, the Seychelles, South Atlantic and Diego Garcia to Bahrain Telecommunications Company (known as Batelco) for $680m, as well as creating a partnership with Batelco for CWC’s 55 per cent shareholding in Monaco Telecom. Batelco will have a 25% shareholding in the partnership with CWC maintaining a 75 per cent shareholding.
The sale is subject to the satisfaction of necessary regulatory and other conditions, and is expected to complete by the end of CWC’s current financial year.
Andy Bridson, chief executive of Cable and Wireless Isle of Man, said: ‘We are pleased with today’s announcement that we will be joining the Batelco Group.
‘Batelco is an international telecoms operator respected for delivering value and innovation to its customers.
‘Batelco is committed to the continuing development of our businesses in the Isle of Man and the Channel Islands and we will certainly benefit from its partnerships and relationships retaining a very global dimension to our business. Nonetheless, our focus will remain on delivering the best services to our customers.’
Sheikh Mohamed bin Isa Al Khalifa, Batelco Group chief executive, said: ‘The CWC Isle of Man and Channel Islands region is a well-managed business that we want to invest in so that it continues to build upon its existing strengths. Batelco is in the process of building a telecoms business of global relevance of which the Channel Islands and the Isle of Man will be an important part.
‘We are looking forward to supporting each of the businesses and contributing to the communities they operate in.’
CWC says the sale is part of its plan to reshape its portfolio of businesses to focus on the Central American and Caribbean region as well as increasing its financial flexibility. The businesses included in the transaction serve a combined 752,000 mobile, fixed, broadband and TV customers.
More on this news in Thursday’s Manx Independent.