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Tata Communications Said to Evaluate Cable & Wireless

Tata Communications Said to Evaluate Offer for C&W Worldwide
Advertisements for Vodafone India Ltd., Reliance Communications Ltd., Uninor mobile, Bharti Airtel Ltd., and Tata DoCoMo, the joint venture with NTT DoCoMo Inc., are displayed on a street in Mumbai, India. Photographer: Dhiraj Singh/Bloomberg

Tata Communications Ltd. is considering a bid for Cable & Wireless Worldwide Plc, the fiber-network operator that is also being evaluated by Vodafone Group Plc, a person with knowledge of the matter said.

The Mumbai-based company is holding discussions with banks as it seeks to arrange a loan for the transaction, and has hired Standard Chartered Plc to advise it on the potential purchase, the person, asking not to be identified because the information is private. Cable & Wireless has a market value of 765 million pounds ($1.2 billion).

Cable & Wireless, which has replaced two chief executive officers since June, has assets ranging from the largest British core fiber network to an overseas enterprise unit. Vodafone, Europe’s largest mobile-phone operator, said on Feb. 13 that it was in early stages of evaluating an offer for London-based Cable & Wireless.

The Times of India reported Tata Communications’s interest in Cable & Wireless earlier today, citing an unidentified person. Debasis Ray, a Tata Group spokesman, and Arijit De at Standard Chartered declined to comment.

Cable & Wireless has surged 41 percent since the close of trading before Vodafone disclosed its interest. The company’s business in Europe would complement Tata Communications’s operations in emerging markets including South Africa, the Middle East and Asia, the person said.

The two companies in 2005 signed an agreement through which Tata offers Cable & Wireless services to Indian corporate customers.

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