Tata, the giant Indian company which has spent £15 billion buying up British businesses in the past few years, now has its eyes on Cable and Wireless .
The Mumbai-based company said in a filing with the U.K. Takeover Panel that it was evaluating a possible cash offer for the British fibre -optic network operator. The examination is at a "very preliminary stage," Tata said .
Vodafone has already said it was in the early stages of evaluating a potential offer. At that time brokerage firm Sanford C. Bernstein said it believed an acquisition could be valued at £700 million to £900 million.
Tata's notable British purchases include the Tetley Group for $432 million in 2000, Corus Group in 2007 for $12.2 billion and Jaguar Land Rover for $2.3 billion in 2008.
If the Cable & Wireless purchase goes through, said the Wall Street Journal, it would help Tata Communications strengthen its position as a provider of undersea fibre-optic and business-communications services globally. There are likely to be benefits from economies of scale as well.
Cable & Wireless owns the U.K.'s largest fibre network servicing businesses and has an international cable network across Europe and Asia, including India. But its shares have fallen 54% over the past 12 months following three profit warnings.