Vodafone must decide whether to bid for Cable & Wireless Worldwide by 29 March after regulator the Takeover Panel extended the deadline on Friday 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.
It granted the extension on Friday at the request of Cable & Wireless Worldwide, the corporate telecoms services group said.
Vodafone's declared interest in Cable & Wireless Worldwide, 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 Cable & Wireless Worldwide were up 5.8 percent at 36.18 pence by 1531 GMT, when Vodafone was down 0.7 percent at 169 pence. Tata Communications last traded up 2.5 percent at 235.60 rupees.
Standard Chartered is the financial adviser to Tata Communications, the company said in the filing. Rothschild and Barclays Capital are advising C&W Worldwide.
(Reporting by Paul Sandle; Editing by Greg Mahlich)