New Delhi: Telecom giant Vodafone has got an extension till April 23 to finalise its bid for acquiring British telecom group Cable & Wireless Worldwide (CWW).
"...the Panel on Takeovers and Mergers has consented to an extension of the deadline until 12.00 noon on 23 April 2012," CWW said in a filing on the London Stock Exchange.
However, there is no certainty that any offer will be made nor as to the terms of any offer, it added.
The Panel on Takeovers and Mergers (UK) is an independent body whose main functions include administering the City Code on Takeovers and Mergers.
India's Tata Communications was also in fray to acquire the British firm, but it pulled out of the race yesterday after failing to reach an agreement on offer price.
With TCL moving out, UK-based telecom giant Vodafone is the only contender for the bid.
"Further to the announcement on 18 April 2012, CWW confirms that advanced discussions with Vodafone are on-going with a view to establishing whether or not they might result in a formal offer for the company which the Board of Cable&Wireless Worldwide would be willing to recommend," CWW said.
CWW owns fixed lines that are used by mobile operators to provide links to mobile transmitters and switching offices. It also provides voice, data and hosting services to major British companies such as Next, Tesco and United Utilities, and retains an international cable network connecting more than 150 countries.
CWW had extended the last date for both TCL and Vodafone from March 29 to April 19 to make the offer for acquiring the company.
Prior to that, the CWW board had extended the deadline from February 13 to March 29 for Vodafone.
Had the Tatas prevailed, it would have marked the latest in a series of British acquisitions by the Indian giant which already owns Jaguar Land Rover and Corus, the steel-maker.
TCL also has the option of re-bidding if the deal with Vodafone does not go through.
"TCL reserves the right to announce an offer or possible offer or make or participate in an offer or possible offer for CWW (and/or take any other action which would otherwise be restricted under Rule 2.8 of the Code) within the next six months following the date of this announcement in the circumstances," TCL had said in a statement yesterday.
TCL had appointed Standard Chartered Bank and Morgan Stanley as financial advisors for the deal. It had, on March 1 announced, that as part of its on-going review of potential acquisition opportunities, it was evaluating a possible cash offer for Cable and Wireless Worldwide Plc.