British mobile phone operator Vodafone is considering a 700 million pound ($1.10 billion) bid for Cable & Wireless Worldwide although no offer is imminent, the Sunday Times reported, citing industry and City of London sources.
Vodafone declined to comment on the article, which also reported that private equity firm Apax was running the rule over Cable & Wireless Worldwide.
The Sunday Times said potential bidders could move if Cable & Wireless Worldwide's new chief executive Gavin Darby managed to stabilise the company, which has issued several profit warnings over the last year.
Reuters reported last year that Cable & Wireless Worldwide could make a tempting target for mobile phone operators desperate for increased bandwidth to serve surging demand for mobile internet access.
Buying the struggling company would enable the likes of Vodafone or O2 (part of Spain's Telefonica) to offload ever-increasing traffic generated by consumers searching the Internet on to a fixed network with more capacity.
($1 = 0.6348 British pounds)
(Reporting by Sudip Kar-Gupta and Kate Holton; Editing by Erica Billingham)