Britain’s Cable & Wireless PLC on Thursday upped the stakes in its war with Nippon Telegraph and Telephone Corp. to buy International Digital Communications Inc., announcing a new bid of 107,372 yen per share.
C&W hopes to bolster its stake in the international carrier to 33.4 percent through the offer, which it said will stand through June 5. It already holds 17.7 percent of IDC.
But Stephen R. Pettit, executive director of C&W, quickly stressed that the British carrier intends to own 100 percent of IDC’s shares. C&W will carry out formal procedures for launching the proposed takeover bid with Japanese financial authorities today, Pettit said.
C&W estimates the total value of IDC shares at 67 billion yen and is prepared to buy out all other shareholders, which according to the carrier would cost about 55 billion yen.
Takeover bids allow a company to offer existing shareholders of the target company a specified price for their shares over a limited time frame; shareholders are not obliged to accept the offer.
Last month, IDC’s board members examined a previous cash proposal made by C&W and a share-swap offer from NTT and recommended shareholders opt for the NTT bid.
Asked what C&W would do if its new offer fails to bring it to its 33.4 percent goal, Pettit denied there was such a possibility, saying C&W’s offering is the highest yet and in cash, which would benefit IDC shareholders.
By taking over IDC, C&W hopes to make the international carrier a hub in its global network, especially in the fast-growing field of Internet protocol services, Pettit said.
For NTT, IDC offers the chance to enter the international-services market without having to start from the ground up.
Meanwhile, IDC issued a written statement saying it would comment on C&W’s new proposal after convening a board meeting in the future.
IDC was founded in 1986 by a consortium of 13 companies that includes C&W, Toyota Motor Corp. and Itochu Corp. It has about 140 corporate shareholders.