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CABLE & WIRELESS CONFIRMS MOBILE DIVISION SALE TALKS

Cable & Wireless Communications plc confirmed the company is in negotiations with four mobile telecommunications operators in the United Kingdom for the possible sale of its mobile services division.

The company is talking with Vodafone Group plc, Orange plc, Cellnet (owned by British Telecommunications plc and Securicor Group plc) and One 2 One (Cable & Wireless owns half of One 2 One).

The Cable & Wireless unit that could be sold resells mobile services to corporate customers.

According to spokeswoman Felicity Bull, the company is re-evaluating “whether we could best exploit mobile market growth by working with mobile operators rather than reselling their services.”

She continued to say that Cable & Wireless is only considering a sale, and has not placed any fixed price on the mobile business unit.

A decision is expected by either September or October.

“A decision to sell will only be made if we add value to CWC, i.e.-we enhance service to customers, and realize maximum value of our assets.”

CWC resells voice and data services for various U.K. cellular providers. The unit “promotes and supports the capability of the network services by dealing directly with the customer, answering queries and fault management, handset and accessory provision and billing,” the company said.

CWC reported a 4-percent market share as of March, with 121,839 subscribers.

Bull said the proposed sale is not an indication that CWC plans to exit the mobile communications market.

“Cable & Wireless Communications is fully committed to this market and to developing added-value services for its customers-the company is just looking at the best option for its shareholders and its customers,” she said.

CWC’s parent company, Cable & Wireless Inc., recently sold its 22.3-percent stake in wireless services provider Occel in Colombia, and its 20-percent interest in French mobile services operator Bouygues Telecom.

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