Canadian cable company buys C&W Bermuda
Exits market after 121 years
Cable & Wireless Communications plc said it sold its Bermuda operations to a Canadian cable com-pany, the Bragg Group, but that no jobs would be lost.
The operations comprise Cable and Wireless Bermuda Holdings Ltd (CWBH), Cable and Wireless Bermuda Ltd, Cable & Wireless eBusiness Ltd, and the British company's 40 per cent shareholding in Quantum Communications Ltd.
The terms of the deal have not been disclosed, although reports suggest the transaction was worth about US$70 million.
"We will not be replacing existing operations and people who work for Cable & Wireless Bermuda today. In fact, we expect to increase local Bermudian employment in the near future," Bragg said in a statement on Wednesday.
Cable & Wireless has been operating in Bermuda for 121 years.
The sale follows CWC's acquisition two weeks ago of 51 per cent of Bahamas Telecommunications Company (BTC) for US$210 million.
"Bermuda does not fit our business model as it is not a full-service operation, while BTC provides excellent opportunities and a strong strategic fit with our Caribbean business," CWC Chief Executive Officer Tony Rice said in the statement.
Bragg operates under the Eastlink brand in Canada, where it was the first Canadian cable company to offer a 'triple play' (telecom, Internet and video services) to customers.
Binding agreements have been signed by both parties, with closing to take place within a few weeks, subject to regulatory approval of the sale.
"We are excited to invest in Bermuda's economic growth and communications excellence," said Ann Petley-Jones, who will be the new CEO for Cable and Wireless Bermuda Holdings Limited.
"We are impressed by the quality of the employees and the company's operations, and look forward to further modernising and expanding a full range of communications services for Bermuda consumers and businesses. In the process, we intend to improve Bermuda's communications infrastructure and create additional employment for Bermudians."
Petley-Jones said during the transition period, the Bermuda companies will operate as they do today, with the same employees, local management, processes and contact points.
C&W Bermuda was previously part of CWC's Channel Islands and Isle of Man business unit.
"Management support and certain support services from Guernsey and London will now be repatriated to Bermuda," Petley-Jones said.