back to article C&W closes in on Thus acquisition

Cable and Wireless has increased its offer for smaller rival telco Thus Group, as it bids to gain weight for its battles against BT for big business contracts. C&W's surprise first 165p per share offer for Glasgow-based Thus was rejected by its board early in June. Today's improved 180p per share bid values Thus at about £330m …

COMMENTS

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Unhappy

Argh!

Time to switch ISPs. No way do I want to use Clueless & Witless.

Can anyone suggest a good ISP that won't read my emails and monitor everything I do?

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Unhappy

Nooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo

We had 2 Bulldog SDSL circuits which were cut off when they decided that they wouldn't support them any more.

We then had two new circuits installed by Demon (i.e. Thus). You just know that C&W will ruin Thus.

It's like a recurring nightmare.

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Dear Thus Board

Dear Thus board members,

on behalf of your customers, please do not sell out to C&W at any price. Or at least don't make Demon part of the deal.

We like having a good broadband service with good customer support and don't want to have to put up with the far lower standard of service that Cable and Wireless provide.

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Silver badge

Not again!

I was with Central Point who were great, until Fast24 took them over, gutted out the support staff and left it little more than a name. Service, both customer and network, went through the floor.

We aren't going to see the same with Demon are we?

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Boffin

C&W THUS Merger would be significant market shake up

If successful, the proposed C&W merger with THUS would be the most significant development in the UK IP services market since the arrival of Verizon in the UK, and service provider consolidations in the late '90s.

THUS is a strong and independently sustainable company. For CW it has a lot of potentially profitable mid market IP Serices customers, a UK wide NextGen powered network, and growing reputation for delivering value to customers & shareholders.

CW, is a global brand, has a focus on increasing profit per customer, and access to a global network which makes them increasingly attractive to multinationals transitioning from legacy to all IP NextGen services.

Put them together and you have a real contender.

Shameless but hopefully interesting link to my blog :0)

http://thebackchannel.blogspot.com/

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Thumb Down

Sorry Steve, but I don't think its significant.

It is for us as customers as Cable & Wireless are not my preferred provider, however by far the biggest change was 'free' broadband that turned up about 2 years ago, that made everyone jump on the bandwagon, and arguably make themselves very vulnerable. Even Carphone Warehouse are struggling to make it work.

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Flame

@Steve Barnett

Stuff the bloody market, I just don't want my broadband service to go down the tubes. Cable & Wireless? God help us all.

"THUS is a strong and independently sustainable company" - they said that about Compaq. Yup, they did. I was there at the time. Just before the HP takeover.

@Alex Wright - if you find a decent alternative that meets your criteria, let me know!

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Unhappy

Re: Dear Thus Board

Sadly it's not the board's call to make - it's all in the hands of the shareholders.

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Hate to burst the bubble

But Thus suck already. I was one of the early Demon users, getting my account with them in 1996. I finally kicked them into touch in 2005 when I got fed up of their abysmal customer service. The key problem that I saw was that when Demon was bought out by Thus the old philosophies of the Demon days where quality of service was paramount were thrown out. I had lots of problems with my Broadband between 2002 and 2005 when I finally dropped the service (and has Thus try to force me to pay a further year of charges when I did drop them). I hope Thus do get bought out by C&W, just to sink the service for ever.

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Unhappy

Demo Status Telephone Line

We were with Demon from the beginning of this company, we currently have about 15 lines with them ...

When Thus bought out Demon, they shipped support to India, they forgot to bill people, and then sold off the loss to credit collectors and service went down hill

If there are any problems, we ring up, as always, the status line to be told that it's all fine. After hanging on for about 1/2 an hour (with calls to the status line on another phone, to check that it's still fine) we get through to a guy who says 'Yes there is a problem, we've lost scotland, but it's only affecting a few customers.'

Maybe I've got this wrong, but the old demon used to tell you everything, at a moments notice and tell you how long it'd take to fix, the current demon seems to hide it's head in the sand and hope the engineers fix it before people notice

And now ... they're being bought out by C&W, who have always been known for their customer support </SARCASM>

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Happy

CW deal nothing to do with Demon & @ George

George, of course you are right; I agree with you completely on the Free broadband front, it was extremely significant and has changed the whole dynamic of the consumer market; broadband access becomes part of an data/telephony & entertainment's package.

However, In the long-term Broadband customers just aren;t profitable unless you offer triple play or better. So, Consumer Broadband is a side-show in this deal, in fact I'd go so far as to say it's a cake stall :0)

The proposed acquisition is about CW acquiring a UK wide NextGen network and being able to provide lots of high value connectivity/services to the business community local and international. CW have thousands of customers running on ageing ATM and Frame relay networks that they will need to migrate to IP based NextGen over time, but more importantly they will gain a steal on BT whose 21CN programme is already running a couple of years behind schedule.

Post acquisition CW should sell off the Broadband customer base, just like when they sold the Bulldog customers to PIPEX who sold them to Tiscali (who having realised the error of their ways, tried to sell them to Vodafone).

Like everyone else, I hate being moved from provider to provider for my Broadband while they consolidate, which is why I am with BT I don;t like their service much either (promised 3mb got 1.5mb max') but at least I know where my bill is coming from every month...

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Jobs Halo

What you have to remember is ....

This deal, welcome or not, is the lifeline that Thus need; effectively they're dead in the water, more so after the loss of the SKY contract.

C&W are only interested in Thus's network: Quite simply they require additional capacity ...

Demon as an internet brand will remain untouched - This will more than likely be spun off, given C&W's last foray into the world of consumer ISP provision.

Given the green light, the integration of Thus into C&W will be complete within 12 months, therefore, if you work for Thus, now really is the time to polish up that CV!

Steve: Polo's and Jeans just may lead Demon ;-)

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Keeping fingers crossed

Demon have been great for us and all our business clients.

When I was in London it took C&W eighteen (18) months to fit a second phone line.

Whilst 1=2 do

I'd phone;

engineer would arrive;

say he had to go to exchange;

hear nothing;

loop

Scarily over the 18 months it was about nine engineers - and none of them the same. Even when the line was installed they connected it incorrectly - but I was able to fix it.

And it sounds like C&W are no better now.

Lets hope that demon get spun off and can go back to being independent.

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C&W - Thus was it ever so....

Yup, C&W will only be interested in the network and the business customers, Demon will certainly be ditched..... so the following experience may be salutary:

As an ex-C&W Bulldoggy, I recently received a letter from Pipex telling me I was being transferred from Bulldog to Pipex Homesomething, and doubling the price to £25 for 8Mbps.... I told them I wasn't interested, but (since Bulldog>Pipex>Tiscali) if they could transfer me to the Tiscali £12.99 package I'd stay with them... Answer - no can do, but if you change to Pipex we'll be able to transfer you to the Tiscali deal, later.... Result - I took the MAC code, called up Tiscali and I'm waiting to see what sort of (Bull)doggy-do I've got myself into.....

Wont do much for my C&W stock....

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Wonder if C&W know what they're bidding for.

I also joined Demon when they first appeared in the market, back in 1992 if I remember right (there weren't many isp's then!).

At the time, service was responsive, you coukld talk to a techie who knew what he was doing, and was keen to make problems go away.

Since Thus took over, the whole experience has slumped, and I really can't see Demon having much of a future.

I guess the one hope is that demon might be split off Thus following a take over, and we might get our "amateur hobbyist" isp back :-)

Nige

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Paris Hilton

ISP suggestion

Newnet - http://www.newnet.co.uk

You will need a BT line for the ADSL circuit but Newnet support have told me they have no intention of adopting Phorm or similar.

<geek> They also have top notch peering connections to the likes of LINX, Level 3 and others and tech support should you need it is first class </geek>

Paris, because its a no-brainer.

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time to change?

as a demon customer who has been with them almost since the beginning, I would hate to see demon being disolved into CW.

over the years I have been more than happy with them even during the hard times they experience during their rapid expansion when the internet took off in the UK.

I am even happy to wait to see what adsl2 offerings they come up with.

my only other alternative would be to sell my soul and move onto the Be network (2 happy clients on there atm.. tempting)

c

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T'aint nought to do with network or customers

C&W have enough high profile customers. They also already have what they call a next gen network (= new bunch of new routers). They don't need more national capacity (although they desperately need some in Europe where their wafer thin network is creaking). They don't need greater scale to take on BT. No, I reckon what they need is the smoke and mirrors which is afforded by a merger to disguise the fact that this is the first year since the Energis acquisition that there is no more provision left in the pot to prop up the year-on-year performance comparison. Having won very little new business over the last year (excluding 'winning' business they already had with Tesco & Aviva etc!), and having a dire reputation for customer service, I reckon the dismal performance will be exposed at the end of this year if they don't do something like this. And it will be attributed to a one-off hit which is the premium they would pay for Thus. And yes, C&W are a high-end business customer only organisation, so consumers and business spenders of less than 10 grand a month can expect to be spun off within weeks of a takeover ......

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