Cable & Wireless Communications (CWC) has agreed to sell its majority stake in Monaco Telecom as part of a strategy to free up cash in order to focus on expanding its operations in Latin America and the Caribbean.
The British telecom group is selling Compagnie Monégasque de Communication, the holding company for its 55% stake in Monaco Telecom, to a private investment vehicle controlled by French entrepreneur Xavier Niel for $445 million.
CWC, according to the company’s CEO, Phil Bentley, will henceforth generate all of its revenue from the Caribbean and Latin America region, with the exception of the Seychelles — although British newspapers are reporting that CWC is also looking to offload its Seychelles business.
Monaco Telecom is the market leader and only full service telecommunications provider in the principality of Monaco. It also owns 36.75% of Telecom Development Company Afghanistan Limited (Roshan), a leading mobile telecommunications operator in Afghanistan.
Last year, LIME, the British group’s Caribbean subsidiary, announced plans to invest more than US$50 million in overhauling its network infrastructure across the region. In the same year, CWC sealed a joint venture partnership with Columbus International to sell telecom capacity in the island nations.
Panama is currently the only Central American country where CWC has operations. But the telecom group has often expressed its desire to expand in Latin American countries such as Mexico and Colombia.
As part of the strategy, the company is also moving its headquarters to Miami, Florida, an ideal location to oversee business operation in the countries south of the US border. “Our Miami hub is now operational and with our balance sheet strength we intend to deploy the funds received in pursuing growth opportunities in our core region,” the telecom group said.
Reports say LIME is rolling out fibre cables in Barbados and Cayman to offer high-speed internet services.