Big news today: Vodafone has just announced that it has reached an agreement to acquire Cable & Wireless - in a billion pound deal.
The cash-offer is based on Cable & Wireless shareholders receiving 38 pence for each share held, for a total outlay of £1,044 million.
John Barton, Chairman of CWW, commented: "Under the leadership of Gavin Darby, Cable & Wireless Worldwide has outlined a strategy to refocus the business on achieving sustainable cash generation and returns from capital invested."
"However, the offer from Vodafone announced today will enable shareholders to crystallise a value, in cash, that represents a significant premium to recent trading levels and avoid exposure to the risks inevitably presented by executing a medium-term improvement strategy."
"Furthermore, the combination with Vodafone represents an exciting opportunity for Cable & Wireless Worldwide's customers, employees, partners and other stakeholders to benefit from the many advantages that will come from being part of the Vodafone Group."
Should the deal go through, it will give Vodafone a very important playing card - its own fibre network, meaning the operator won't have to be reliant on BT's infrastructure any more.
Vodafone notes that the Cable & Wireless fibre network fits nicely with its UK base station locations, and will mean it can provide fast backhaul of data traffic at considerable cost savings - compared to leasing.
Vodafone is also positioning itself to grow its enterprise user base, as it will be taking on board C&W's considerable array of business customers.