London: India-based Tata Communications has raised the stakes in the 1-billion-pound battle for Britain’s Cable & Wireless Worldwide (CWW), ahead of the bid deadline this week, according to media reports.
The Mumbai-based company has hired Morgan Stanley to work alongside Standard Chartered, its long-term adviser, as it considers whether to table a firm offer by this Thursday’s cut-off, the Sunday Times reported. According to the report, Tata Communications has amassed a $2 billion (£1.26 billion) war chest as it prepares to go head to head with Vodafone for the troubled CWW.
The State Bank of India and Australia and New Zealand Bank are thought to have joined a consortium of lenders led by Standard Chartered, the report said. The moves will be seen as a strong signal of intent from the Indian raider, an off-shoot of the Tata conglomerate, which has been running a rule over the 160-year-old CWW since last summer.
If Tatas prevails, it would mark the latest in a series of British acquisitions by the Indian giant, which already owns Jaguar Land Rover and Corus, the steel-maker. According to the report, instead of tabling a bid by Thursday, Tatas could request a further extension to the deadline, which would have to be approved by the CWW board.