LONDON (Reuters) - Cable & Wireless Communications CWC.L said on Monday the sale of its business in the Seychelles to Bahrain Telecommunications Co BTEL.BH (Batelco) has fallen through, the latest deal to hit a snag between the two sides.
The British group had last year announced the sale of its Monaco and Islands division, which owned stakes in operators in 12 markets, to state-controlled Batelco as part of a restructuring for a group previously spread from Macau to Britain’s Channel Islands, the Caribbean and Central America.
On Monday the group said Batelco had failed to secure approval to buy the business by the required date, and that it would now consider other options.
The sale of the Monaco unit has also fallen through although other aspects of the $580 million (354 million pounds) deal have gone ahead. While Seychelles only made up a small part of the deal, the news sent shares in the British group down 1.9 percent.
“Cable & Wireless Communications has been notified that all necessary approvals for the sale of its business in the Seychelles to Batelco Group have not been granted,” it said.
“Accordingly, that disposal did not complete by the long-stop date agreed with Batelco and CWC will be considering its options for the Seychelles business.”
Batelco has recently been hit by the departure of some of its most senior executives as the former telecom monopoly tries to arrest a sustained profit slump.
In a separate statement, Batelco confirmed that it had not received regulatory approval to buy CWC’s assets in Seychelles.
The Bahraini firm did not reveal the value of the Seychelles assets within the Islands deal, whether it had already paid for the Seychelles business and whether it would seek a refund.
Neither side has given a territory-by-territory breakdown, but CWC said in its annual report that its operations in Maldives, Monaco and Guernsey represented about 83 percent of the division’s revenue in the 2011-12 financial year.
Reporting by Kate Holton in London and Matt Smith in Dubai, Editing by Paul Sandle/Mark Heinrich