LONDON, June 8 (Reuters) - Orbis, the largest shareholder in Cable & Wireless Worldwide, has yet to decide how it will vote on Vodafone’s 1 billion pound bid and will wait for shareholder meetings later this month to make up its mind on a deal it has criticised.
“As things stand today, we intend to vote in person at the shareholder meetings on 18 June and expect to make our decision on how to vote shortly before the meetings,” an Orbis spokesman said on Friday.
Vodafone needs the holders of 75 percent of CWW’s stock to support its 38-pence-a-share offer for its scheme of arrangement to succeed. If it falls short, it has the option to switch to a tender offer.
Orbis holds a 19 percent stake in CWW.
“Our decision on how to vote will be driven largely by the relative attractiveness of trying to stay in CWW versus other investment options available at the time,” the Orbis spokesman said.
“We will do the right thing for our clients as opposed to being influenced by the views of other interested parties or calculating the probability of the Vodafone offer prevailing at the meetings.”
The investment firm has consistently said Vodafone’s 1.04 billion pound ($1.6 billion) offer undervalues CWW’s assets, which include a British fibre optic network and international cable connections.
It has said, however, it would be comfortable retaining a stake in a Vodafone-controlled CWW.
Vodafone declined to comment. To date, the recommended bid has been publicly backed by the holders of 18.6 percent of CWW’s stock. ($1 = 0.6420 British pounds) (Reporting by Paul Sandle; Editing by Paul Hoskins)