Rumor: AT&T May Bid For Cable & Wireless

AT&T, the largest phone company in the U.S., may buy UK-based Cable & Wireless, according to The Guardian. The rumors were prompted by a research report by a local stock broker.

Cable & Wireless is one of those telecoms whose fortunes have followed the trajectory of William Shattner’s small screen career. It may have been Captian Kirk at one time, but now all it does is pitch cheap tickets and hotel rooms. Sorry, I meant it is a telecom company selling services to businesses.

Regardless, it is not such a bad rumor and makes sense for AT&T, which needs to make a move that moves the needle on its revenues, and C&W fits the bill. Cable& Wireless has a market capitalization of $8.5 billion and sales of $6 billion. AT&T clearly needs to do something — it is losing traction in the U.S. residential market at a dangerous clip, with customers defecting to wireless or cable companies.

A few months ago, AT&T CEO Randall Stephenson, in an interview with USA Today, talked about making an audacious move — a big global partnership or a deal. “If you’re not pushing forward hard, nothing happens …. You don’t do that by making little incremental moves. You’ve got to make big moves,” he told the daily. Maybe this (buying C&W) qualifies as a big move in Dallas San Antonio!

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