Batelco Group (Ticker: BATELCO), the
regional telecommunications operator with operations across six
countries, announced that its shareholders have voted to approve
its acquisition of the various companies from Cable & Wireless
Communications Plc (CWC) that comprise its Monaco and Islands
Division, today at an Ordinary General Meeting of the Company held
at its Hamala headquarters.
Based on the tabulation of votes taken at the general meeting, Batelco has received the requisite majority shareholder approval of its proposed acquisition of the entire CWC interest in the Maldives, Channel Islands and Isle of Man, the Seychelles, South Atlantic and Diego Garcia as well as a 25% shareholding in Compagnie Monagesque de Communications SAM ("CMC"), which holds CWC's 55% interest in Monaco Telecom. In addition, Batelco and CWC have entered into put and call arrangements in relation to CWC's remaining 75% interest in CMC, allowing Batelco to acquire a controlling interest in Monaco Telecom in line with certain previously announced terms and conditions.
Batelco Group Chairman, Shaikh Hamad bin Abdulla Al Khalifa, commented: "The Board of Directors of Batelco Group is delighted that our shareholders have shown support for this transformative acquisition, which will see the Company emerge as an international telecommunications company of reference. We have been pursuing a strategy of diversification and this acquisition will greatly further our efforts to both broaden our geographic footprint as well as add important new revenue streams."
"This transaction is expected to be accretive to the underlying earnings of Batelco Group from the outset, and we are confident that we will be able to enhance value for our shareholders through the benefits derived from greater diversification, added scale and expertise, and the combined market leadership Batelco and the companies we are acquiring already enjoy in their respective markets, which together total 17 countries with strategic clusters in the Middle East, Monaco, Indian Ocean, Channel Islands and the South Atlantic."
Batelco Group CEO Shaikh Mohamed bin Isa Al Khalifa added: "This transaction is instrumental in our efforts to continue to increase the scale of our operations and further build our leadership in our six existing markets throughout the Middle East as well as on a global basis. Working closely with the management teams and companies we will acquire, we expect to drive further value for our customers across both current and new markets. The expansion of our network and reach not only provides for significant benefits to customers, it also enables us to achieve synergies and reach greater efficiencies in our operations. We are excited to enter a phase of development and to maximise the opportunities for growth that lie ahead."
Shareholders also approved the issuance by the Company of debt instruments up to a value of USD 1 billion as well as authorising and delegating the Board of Directors with all of the necessary authority in relation to determining the timing and conditions related to the issuance of any debt instruments and the steps required to issue them after obtaining the approval of the Central Bank of Bahrain.
The Acquisition, which has also been approved by the shareholders of CWC on 9 January 2013, remains subject to respective consents and approvals in each of the markets as applicable and other certain closing conditions.