Vodafone Group Plc
Vodafone, the world's biggest mobile phone carrier by revenue, and Tata Comms now have to announce by 16:00 p.m. British time on April 19 either a firm intention to make an offer after their preliminary talks with C&W Worldwide or walk away. A previous deadline was set to expire on Thursday.
C&W Worldwide said in a statement the regulator, Britain's Takeover Panel, agreed to extend the deadline at the company's request. Sources had earlier told Reuters C&W Worldwide was likely to seek an extension of the deadline as the two potential bidders wanted more time.
Tata Communications, 26-percent owned by the Indian government, thinks it did not get as much time as Vodafone to evaluate a possible bid since Vodafone got an earlier extension, while Vodafone thinks it still has not received enough information to decide on a bid, said the sources, who declined to be named as the process is not public.
Vodafone said in February it was in the early stages of looking at a bid for C&W Worldwide, which has issued a string of profit warnings since it split from Cable & Wireless Communications
Tata Communications, part of the salt-to-software Tata Group conglomerate, said on March 1 it too was evaluating a possible cash offer, a step that could trigger a takeover battle for troubled C&W Worldwide, which has fixed telephone lines that can be used to relieve pressure on mobile networks, and provides voice, data and other services.
C&W Worldwide also has an international cable network linking more than 150 countries, a factor that could be of particular interest for Tata Communications, which also has submarine cable assets.
(Writing and additional reporting by Devidutta Tripathy; Editing by Clarence Fernandez)