Follows sale of key asset to Chinese five days ago
The chief executive of one of the world’s oldest telecos, Cable & Wireless Communications (CWC), has snapped up more than £1 million in shares following the sale of its stake in its Macau, China business for $750 million five days ago.
Tony Rice, CEO of the company for the past two years but has been with the group since 2003, bought three million shares yesterday [17th January 2013] at a price of 37.75 pence. Today the shares had risen to 38.22 pence, netting him an overnight profit of some £15,000.
On Monday it emerged that his company was also awarding him 4.5 millon new shares under a performance award scheme, as measured over three years against comparative firms from April 2012.
Based in London and listed as a FTSE 250 company, CWC has roots going back to the 1860s when it pioneered transatlatic cabling and telegrams. In its lifetime the original firm was nationalised by Labour in 1947, de-nationalised later by Mrs Thatcher and, in 2010, split in two – the other part is now known as Cable & Wireless Worldwide.
Since then CWC, under Rice’s stewardship, has focused its operations on Panama, Macau, the Caribbean and Monaco. It is currently reported as having 11.3 million mobile customers, 1.7 million fixed line customers and 667,000 broadband customers, bringing in earnings of around £3 billion from a client mix of governments, companies, other telecos and ordinary consumers.
Rice’s share swoop follows an earlier announcement this week in which it revealed that CWC had agreed to sell its 51 per cent stake in Companhia de Telecomunicações de Macau to China’s CITIC Telecom for $749.7 million, in a bid to strengthen its finances.
Later CWC said the sale was also a further step in its strategy to reshape its portfolio, reduce geographic spread and grow its business in the Central American and Caribbean region.
Previously its CEO has revealed how the company has agreements to offer iPhones to its customers in its key territories and where he expects smartphone penetration in its markets to rise to 50 percent in five years’ time from about 25 per cent now.
With his latest purchase, Rice now holds nearly 25 million shares in the group.