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Vodafone mulls a bid for Cable and Wireless

Spending its tax bill to buy capacity
Mon Feb 13 2012, 14:40

MOBILE OPERATOR Vodafone is mulling a bid for telecoms operator Cable and Wireless.

Vodafone, which is already the world's largest mobile operator, is considering bidding £700m for the once mighty Cable and Wireless. Following the reports that it might make an offer the company's share price rose steadily to meet the possible £700m bid, while Vodafone's own shares rose almost one per cent.

Vodafone issued a statement saying, "Vodafone regularly reviews opportunities in the sector and confirms that it is in the very early stages of evaluating the merits of a potential offer for CWW [Cable and Wireless Worldwide]," While Vodafone's comment confirms that it is considering making a bid, the hold-up seems to be what it will gain by owning a telecoms company that is a shadow of its former self.

According to Reuters, rival telecoms firm Telefonica, which owns O2, could also be interested in making a bid for Cable and Wireless. The name of the game for a telecoms operator, especially one involved in wireless, is to strengthen its backhaul network in order to cope with the explosion of wireless data thanks to smartphones and tablets.

Late last year Vodafone got out of a £8bn tax bill, with MPs furious that the firm only had to cough up £1.25bn even though it had five years to pay and had the cash in its accounts. Now it seems that with all that cash not going to the taxman, Vodafone has more than enough to make a £700m offer for Cable and Wireless. µ


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