Vodafone on the lookout for a rebound

A little birdie is flying around, leaving a story in its wake that suggests Vodafone is interested in Cable & Wireless Worldwide (CWW), the communications network which once rivalled BT, but now just crosses its fingers for profit. Vodafone was quick to quell the comments, but might it slip a cheque under CWW’s door?

It certainly has the cash. Vodafone is sitting on a significant cashpile and has been known to have its eye on smaller, less profitable operators.

Only last week the telco giant abandoned plans to merge its Greek arm with Wind Hellas. While Vodafone was tight-lipped about the reasons, most observers put the failed bid down to competition issues rather than a loss of interest.

Now Vodafone needs a rebound.

CWW would certainly be a good choice. As consumer uptake of mobile phones levels off, telcos must look elsewhere for their cash – and CWW mainly caters to large corporate and government bodies.

Relations between the two will no doubt be helped by the fact CWW chief executive Gavin Darby is a member of the Vodafone old boys’ club. He worked wonders for Vodafone UK as its CEO, before taking charge of the company’s US, Africa, India and China operations.

Darby swapped his Vodafone job to take the helm of a much less stable ship in November, and he probably had a plan. Could this be it?