Two of Britain's largest telephone companies have secured financing worth £5.3 billion to fund major capital investment and acquisitions.
In two separate announcements today, Telewest Communications said it has secured a £1.5 billion credit facility and Cable & Wireless has raised £3.8 billion through the financing of its 50 per cent stake in mobile operator One2One.
Telewest said it would use the new facility to finance capital expenditure and provide working capital for the group. It said part of the facility may also be used to finance acquisitions.
Cable & Wireless meanwhile said its financing would give it access to funds ahead of its planned sale or flotation of One2One. These funds will be used to support a major programme of capital expenditure.
Telewest has previously held merger talks with Cable & Wireless Communications, the carrier's domestic operator, and analysts strongly expect the two to form some kind of pact, possibly with NTL, to challenge BT's dominance in the UK.
Cable & Wireless earlier this month announced that it will focus on providing data and Internet services for business customers, leaving its cable TV and mobile phone interests looking vulnerable to takeover.
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