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March 20, 1997updated 05 Sep 2016 12:57pm

CABLE & WIRELESS CONSIDERS A BID FOR SPRINT

By CBR Staff Writer

Cable & Wireless Plc’s decision to divorce Veba AG in Germany had to be because it had spotted a much bigger opportunity to secure its future not just in Germany but on the world stage, and now the strategy seems to be clear: seek a deal with its partner on its original transatlantic cable, Sprint Corp, whereby it would acquire control of Sprint by buying the 80% that France Telecom SA and Deutsche Telekom AG do not already own. Commentators have long projected Cable & Wireless as a bid target, but the company is close to being bid-proof because so many of its alliances around the world would have to be renegotiated from scratch by a buyer, with no guarantee of success in any of them. Cable & Wireless is expected to sell its 58% or so stake in Hong Kong Telecommunications Ltd down to about 40% in return for being granted a privileged position in the Chinese telecommunications market, which would free up a substantial cash sum towards acquisition of Sprint. Cable & Wireless had no comment on the Wall Street Journal report that it had held talks with Sprint, and France Telecom, said to have been sounded out, didn’t seem to answer the question, saying that it no plans to raise its own 10% stake in Sprint, but confirming that Cable & Wireless had talked to it about the Global One alliance, which needs the access to the UK market that Cables, via its Cable & Wireless Communications Plc venture, would provide. And We have nothing to say about this, Deutsche Telekom Reuters. We do not comment on speculation. And we do not comment on rumors or speculation echoed Sprint.

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