Outlook: Cable confusion

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The Independent Online
CABLE & WIRELESS is a big company with a City reputation to keep, so in negotiating its exit from CWC's residential cable business and its acquisition of CWC's corporate telecoms interests (Mercury), it is presumably playing by the book.

All the same there is a real risk of minority shareholders getting trampled in such a complex transaction. In itself it is questionable that C&W, CWC's 53 per cent majority shareholder, should be entering into "exclusive" talks with NTL over this sequential restructuring; it is CWC which is being asked to make these disposals, not C&W. All of which suggests that Sir Bryan Carsberg, de facto head of independent directors at CWC, is going to have to more than earn his non-executive salary making sure minority interests are properly protected.

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