Vodafone is edging closer to owning Cable & Wireless Worldwide. The £1bn bid was potentially in trouble back in May, when Orbis Investment Management opposed the bid, but in light of what appears to be widespread support for the deal, Orbis is accepting the deal.
With the announcement of Vodafone and O2 planning to share their 4G LTE network, owning a fibre backbone provider that has a network spanning the UK will help reduce the costs significantly when building their 4G network and also reduce their reliance on BT for backhaul from cell-towers.
Cable & Wireless WorldWide (CWW) offers more than just a fibre backbone, so it remains to be seen which parts of CWW will survive the purchase, Vodafone has dabbled and abandoned a consumer fixed line broadband product in the past. The 4G partnership with O2 represents a possible easy avenue if it wants to divest itself of the consumer/SME/wholesale broadband access division, as O2 already runs its own LLU network.