Cable & Wireless Plc, whose Cable & Wireless (Marine) Ltd company already claims to operate the world’s largest commercial cableship fleet, wants to turn itself into a major British subsea engineering and contracting group, and as a first step, it has paid UKP400,000 for a 75% stake in Northern Ocean Services Ltd of Teeside. It says that the company and its Northern Contractors associate are well-positioned for teh substantial expansion that Cable & Wireless can bring. Northern Ocean has a construction base on Teeside and operates three offshore support ships in a joint venture with the Andreas Ugland Group, and will also operate Ugland’s new 1,000 tonne cable laying carousel, and will now have access to all Cable & Wireless (Marine)’s cable-laying equipment – sea ploughs and so forth. It will assume a major role in the laying of Cables’ planned Global Digital Highway, and there are also said to be opportunities for rationalisation as well as synergy. As well as cable-laying, the new group will involve itself in exploitation of undersea hydrocarbons, and other ocean resources, perhaps including subsea minerals.