Cable & Wireless tempts Thus into takeover talks

Telecoms group Cable & Wireless today confirmed takeover talks with call-centre and internet services provider Thus after raising its approach for the broadband provider to around £330m (€417m).

But the group said its self-imposed “put up or shut up” deadline remains in place, giving the group until 5pm to table a firm offer for Thus.

Thus snubbed C&W’s earlier unsolicited proposal worth 165p a share – valuing the group at around £302m (€381.5m) – at the end of last month.

Suitor C&W gave itself today’s deadline to tempt its smaller rival into takeover talks, when it said it would either walk away or firm up an offer.

Thus is understood to have opened its books to C&W after pressure from shareholders, with the two reportedly locked in talks over the weekend to hammer out a deal ahead of the deadline.

C&W said they were in discussions over a possible 180p a share bid, which signals a shift in the group’s position on price.

The suitor had earlier told Glasgow-based Thus that it was only prepared to discuss an agreement within a “narrow price band” of the 165p-a-share indicative offer.

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