UK's CWW PLC to accept Vodafone bid

UK telecommunications company Cable & Wireless Worldwide PLC will accept a £1.1 billion takeover bid from mobile phone giant Vodafone Group PLC by today's extended deadline, according to the Sunday Telegraph, which reported without quoting sources.

According to the report, the offer, valued at 40 pence to 45 pence a share, would be recommended by C&W Worldwide ahead of the midday deadline, ending two months of discussions between the companies.

Vodafone approached C&W Worldwide, owner of the largest fibre-optic network in the UK, in early February beating competition from Indian telecommunications giant Tata Communications, which abandoned its takeover efforts last week.

The UK Takeover Panel on Thursday agreed to an extension of the deadline for a third time, by which Vodafone would need to make an offer.

According to The Sunday Times, Vodafone was still mulling the final terms of a bid, but was expected to hive off C&W Worldwide's undersea cables if its bid was successful.

The ailing firm's 260,000 mile international cable network could go for upto  £500 million on the block, to bidders, including US firms AT&T Inc, Verizon Communications Inc, Tata Communications and Hong Kong's Pacnet, according to the newspaper. The cash would allay investor concerns that Vodafone was overpaying for C&W Worldwide. The newspaper did not cite any sources.