James Moore: CWW deal could prove taxing for Vodafone

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The Independent Online

Outlook Sighs of relief all round at Cable & Wireless Worldwide (CWW).

The embattled telecoms business wobbled after Indian conglomerate Tata pulled its bid. But Vodafone is still in the game so executives from both sides will be spending their weekend working as they try to get the thing done and dusted by a new deadline of noon on Monday.

To a lot of observers the deal makes sense for Vodafone because CWW has lots of bits and pieces it doesn't have. To a lot of cynics the deal makes sense because CWW has racked up billions of pounds in losses so could provide a big tax benefit.

Vodafone has been trying to dampen down the debate over tax by saying it pays more than you might think. It wants to be seen as cuddly, which is perhaps why it is using Yoda, the Star Wars character, for its latest ads.

It will need all the Jedi master's powers if it is to quell a storm on Monday if it does buy CWW and realises those tax breaks.