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Mar 29, 2012, 02.21 PM IST | Source: CNBC-TV18

Between Vodafone and Tata Comm, who will get CWW pie?

Tata Communications and Vodafone are both reportedly seeking an extension of the Thursday deadline to 'put up or shut up' for placing bids to acquire Cable & Wireless Worldwide (CWW). Managers of both companies are said to have found the information shared by CWW insufficient, report Sanjay Suri and Swati Khandelwal Jain.

Sanjay Suri, Reporter, CNBC-TV18

Tata Communications and Vodafone are both reportedly seeking an extension of the Thursday deadline to 'put up or shut up' for placing bids to acquire Cable & Wireless Worldwide (CWW). Managers of both companies are said to have found the information shared by CWW insufficient, report Sanjay Suri and Swati Khandelwal Jain.

Global telecom giant Vodafone and India's Tata Communication share a common target - CWW. But what makes the company so interesting? For vodafone, CWW could be the platform to scale up its global enterprise division. What about the Tatas? David Molony, principal analyst at Ovum says that for Tata, it is different because CWW is a global network based on MPLS high bandwidth, running advanced networking plus specialty business videos, just like Tata Communications. “Their networks look the same, so there is an obvious operational and technical fit,” he says.

Kavita Majithia, senior reporter at Capacity Magazine says that CWW has networks with major British companies like Tesco and Next, and have other clients in Europe too.

For CWW too, Tata makes more sense. After all, given its low share prices and sluggish performance, CWW needs to expand beyond just large clients.

Molony says, "Tata has experience of emerging economies, a home market, but in Middle East and Africa, we see super regional operators like Tata in Latin America, and see how much progress they are making…those are big pluses.”

However, both bidders are treading with caution.  Experts say this race is unlikely to erupt into an Arcelor Mittal kind of bidding war. Why? Simple: there just are not many telcos that have that much new money to spare beyond what is already invested.

Vodafone is of course looking to expand its global business beyond its main mobile services into fixed line expansion that would come with the acquisition of CWW. But many do believe Tata is the better fit and that the company might itself prefer Tata as the new owner for that reason.

The new owner gets the assets, of course, but also a very large business clientele in Britain and the rest of Europe, and be well positioned to expand into the emerging markets.

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