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C&W Worldwide Set To Accept Vodafone Bid - Report

LONDON -(Dow Jones)- U.K. telecommunications company Cable & Wireless Worldwide PLC (CW.LN) will accept a GBP1.1 billion takeover bid from mobile phone giant Vodafone Group PLC (VOD.LN) by Monday's extended deadline, the Sunday Telegraph reported, without naming its sources. The offer, which is valued at 40 pence to 45 pence a share, will be recommended by C&W Worldwide in time for the midday deadline, bringing an end to two months of discussions between the companies, the report said. Vodafone first made an official approach for C&W Worldwide--owner of the largest fiber-optic network in the U.K.--in early February and has beaten off competition from Indian telecommunications giant Tata Communications (TCL), which abandoned its takeover efforts last week. The U.K. Takeover Panel on Thursday agreed for a third time to extend the deadline by which Vodafone must make an offer. In a separate report, the Sunday Times said Vodafone is still mulling the final terms of a bid, but is expected to hive off C&W Worldwide's undersea cables if its bid is successful. The ailing firm's 260,000 mile international cable network could be auctioned for up to GBP500 million to bidders, who include U.S. firms AT&T Inc. (T), Verizon Communications Inc. (VZ), India's Tata Communications and Hong Kong's Pacnet, according to the newspaper. The cash would offset concerns from investors that Vodafone is overpaying for C&W Worldwide, the Sunday Times added. It didn't name its sources. C&W Worldwide owns the U.K.'s biggest fiber network dedicated to businesses. It also has an international cable network that reaches across Europe, India and throughout Asia. But it has had a tough time since its spinoff from parent Cable & Wireless PLC in 2010, making series of profit warnings and suffering numerous management changes. Vodafone declined to comment. No-one at C&W Worldwide was immediately available for comment. Newspaper Web site: http://www.timesonline.co.uk Newspaper Web site: http://www.telegraph.co.uk -By London Bureau, Dow Jones Newswires; +44 (0)20 7842 9320

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