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Message subject : CWO news

This message was posted by nilsen on March 24, 2001 :

C&W sells Optus to SingTel for 7 bln stg -UK paper
LONDON, March 24 (Reuters) - Singapore Telecom has bought Australian mobile phone company Cable & Wireless Optus for seven billion pounds ($10 billion), beating Vodafone to it after a protracted auction, Britain's Sunday Telegraph newspaper said.
The reported sale by Britain's Cable & Wireless Plc comes a month after SingTel entered a race for Optus including Britain's Vodafone Group Plc, the world's largest mobile phone company, and Telecom Corp of New Zealand.

The newspaper, which gave no source for the report, said SingTel had swept in with a knockout offer despite Vodafone's plans to submit a revised bid for Optus, Australia's second largest full service carrier, later this week.

The final terms were being agreed in Sydney on Saturday night, the paper added, and an announcement to the London Stock Exchange was expected on Monday morning.

Spokeswomen for Cable & Wireless and Vodafone declined to comment late on Saturday.

C&W Optus, which put itself up for sale last November, has a market value of around A$15 billion.

The Telegraph said SingTel, Asia's eighth largest telecoms operator, was believed to be paying around A$20 billion, or some A$3 billion more than expected.

Brokers have said that a profit warning this month from Cable & Wireless Plc could lead to a quicker sale after the parent company, which owns 52.5 percent of C&W Optus, saw 20 percent wiped off its share price.


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