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Tata may bid for British telecom giant CWW

Press Trust of India  |  New Delhi 

Tata Communications today said it is considering an acquisition bid for London-listed telecommunication giant Cable & Wireless Worldwide Plc (CWW).

"... As part of on-going review of potential acquisition opportunities, TCL is evaluating a possible cash offer for CWW," Tata Communications Ltd (TCL) said in a regulatory filing.

Vodafone Group Plc too is believed to be looking at bidding for the fibre-network operator.

TCL said "considerations are at a very preliminary stage and there can be no certainty that an offer will be made.

Tata Group's telecom arm is said to have hired Standard Chartered Plc to advice it on the potential purchase of CWW, which has a market value of 765 million pounds ($1.2 billion).

CWW owns fixed lines that are used by mobile operators to provide links to mobile transmitters and switching offices. It also provides voice, data and hosting services to major British such as Next, Tesco and United Utilities, and retains an international cable network connecting more than 150 countries.

The acquisition would provide TCL, which owns undersea cable assets and provides telecom and internet services to across countries, a larger footprint in voice and data carrier businesses as well as in the undersea cable network.

As per the UK's takeover and mergers code, "TCL is now required, by not later than 5.00 pm On March 29, 2012, to either announce a firm intention to make an offer for CWW... or announce that it does not intend to make an offer," TCL said.

First Published: Thu, March 01 2012. 16:08 IST