Deadline looms again for the telecoms giants vying for CWW

AN OFFER for Cable & Wireless Worldwide (CWW) is expected imminently as Vodafone and Tata Communications have until tomorrow to table a bid.

Tata Communications is deemed the more likely bidder for the ailing cable company, although Vodafone was first to express an interest when press speculation prompted a statement in February.

Espirito Santo analyst Nick Brown told City A.M. that Tata is likely to voice an offer by tomorrow’s deadline, which would give Vodafone another month to put up or shut up.

“There has been quite a lot of speculation that Vodafone will not bid at all, as it has been very tight-lipped throughout the process – in contrast to Tata, which has publicly been raising $2bn to make an offer,” Brown said.

The Indian communications company has a handful of banks financing a potential bid and is expected to offer 45p a share for the UK-listed firm.

Brown said Tata could come in lower, in the high 30s, to leave room for the price to be pushed higher by a counter bid or shareholder demand.

Shareholders are unlikely to be impressed by an offer below 40p, but if Vodafone enter a bidding war the price could be pushed up to 50p, which could eliminate Tata.

CWW’s share price has risen by 80 per cent, closing yesterday at 36p, since Vodafone announced it was considering an offer.