Vodafone eyes late bid for CWW a Tata pull out

Mobile phone giant Vodafone has until 5pm today to make an offer for Cable & Wireless Worldwide after India’s Tata last night pulled out of the race for the telecoms firm.

Tata’s communications business said it was unable to agree a price with CWW, which sells telecoms and internet services to major UK businesses, and no longer intended to make an offer.

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CWW, which has seen its share price more than double since the start of the year amid takeover speculation, said it was still in talks with Vodafone.

CWW provides high-speed telecoms services to the police and companies including Tesco and would be attractive to Vodafone as the mobile phone firm looks to grow its corporate arm at a time of slow consumer growth.

The interest in CWW was spurred by a collapse in its share price since it split from Cable & Wireless’s telecoms arm in 2010.