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Thus Group gives amorous Cable and Wireless the brush off

Potential telecoms merger emerges

The smart choice: opportunity from uncertainty

Cable and Wireless has shuffled alongside smaller business telecoms outfit Thus Group, mumbling that it possibly might want to make an offer to buy it, to be greeted today with a polite "we're alright, cheers".

A C&W statement alongside news of its romantic whispers said: "This announcement does not amount to a firm intention to make an offer and accordingly there can be no certainty that an offer will be made."

The market likes the idea though, and has sent Thus shares climbing more than 23 per cent at time of writing, to a market cap of almost £249m.

The Thus board seem less keen on the match. In its response, the firm said: "Thus is confident in its future as an independent group, which offers an attractive combination of strong growth and future cash flow generation."

"The Board remains focused on delivering maximum value for shareholders and will evaluate any proposal from any third party against the value that the Company can deliver as an independent group."

So, file this under "we'll consider any proposal because the law says we have to, but don't expect us to enjoy it".

C&W was a poster child for the early noughties telco slump, but is now resurgent having sacked thousands of staff. Thus is probably most familiar to Reg readers as the owner of venerable ISP Demon. ®

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