Vodafone must decide whether to bid for Britain’s Cable & Wireless Worldwide by March 29, after regulator the Takeover Panel extended the deadline to the same date set for potential rival bidder Tata Communications.
The takeover panel had set a “put up or shut up” deadline for March 12 after Vodafone said in February it was in the early stage of considering whether to make a cash bid for Cable & Wireless Worldwide (C&WW). It granted the extension on Friday at the request of C&WW, the corporate telecoms services group said.
Vodafone’s declared interest in C&WW, which has issued a string of profit warnings since it split from Cable & Wireless Comms two years ago, prompted India’s Tata Communications to say on March 1 that it too was looking at making a bid.
Shares in C&WW closed up 5.9 per cent at 36.2 pence, valuing the group at nearly 1 billion pounds ($1.6 billion). Vodafone closed down 0.9 per cent at 169 pence. Tata Communications last traded up 2.5 per cent at 235.60 rupees.
Analyst Nick Brown at Espirito Santo Investment Bank said the extension meant Vodafone was working quite seriously on whether to make a formal bid or not.