India's Tata Communications has withdrawn from the running to acquire international cable operator Cable & Wireless Worldwide, hours before the deadline to submit an official bid.
The company decided not to make an offer because “it has been unable to reach agreement with C&WW on an offer price,” Tata Comm said in an announcement on the London Stock Exchange.
But the statement adds that Tata Comm “reserves the right to [announce or participate in] an offer or possible offer for C&WW... within the next six months.”
The announcement came ahead of the deadline to make a formal offer later today, and leaves Vodafone as the likely sole bidder for the assets. The bid deadline has already been pushed back by two weeks.
A person familiar with the deal claimed to the UK's The Telegraph newspaper that Tata had been unable to secure a firm financing offer from banks, despite a number of banks indicating their willingness to lend money for the deal.
C&WW is currently worth around £1 billion ($1.6 billion), after a sharp stock spike in the wake of Vodafone's initial announcement.