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Tata Comms seeks $2B loan for Cable & Wireless bid

India conglomerate's communications arm reportedly seeking US$2 billion loan to finance possible bid for U.K.'s Cable & Wireless, with Standard Chartered bank likely to drive efforts in raising amount.
Written by Jamie Yap, Journalist on

India's Tata Communications Limited is reportedly considering plans to raise US$2 billion in a term loan to finance its potential bid for U.K.-based telecoms company, Cable & Wireless Worldwide.

Reuters reported Monday that the loan would likely have a tenure of three to five years and was expected to refinance some existing debt owed by the Indian company.

Sources also told Reuters that Standard Chartered bank, Tata Comms' mergers and acquisitions (M&A) advisor, was set to take the lead role in raising the loan.

The communications arm of Indian conglomerate, Tata Group, last week announced it might make a bid for Cable & Wireless as part of an "ongoing review of potential acquisition opportunities". However, it added that considerations were at a "very preliminary stage".

An earlier report by The Economic Times last Friday said plans for the bid, if it materializes, could be opposed by the Indian government which currently holds a 26 percent stake in Tata Communications.

It also would mark a return to overseas M&A by the Tata Group after nearly three years, Reuters noted.

U.K. mobile giant Vodafone, which had also shown interest in bidding for Cable & Wireless, has until Mar. 12 to confirm its intentions. Tata Communication has until Mar. 29 to do the same.

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