Telecom (NZSE: TEL) appears to have yet another rival for the spoils of Australian telco Cable & Wireless Optus.
A report in the Australian Financial Review claims Singapore Telecommunications has begun preliminary due diligence on C&W Optus, adding its name to those of potential bidders Vodaphone, Telecom and Japan's NTT DoCoMo.
The AFR report says SingTel executives have been meeting in Sydney to analyse C&W Optus assets, following a formal expression of interest in the company.
C&W Optus has not made any announcement on timing for the possible break-up of the company's three divisions -- mobile, data and business services, and consumer and multimedia divisions - but last week said it would shortly circulate an information memorandum to a number of parties which have expressed interest.
The telco memorandum will invite parties to lodge non-binding indications of interest in the acquisition of all or part of the company, and it expected to receive indications of interest before Christmas.
SingTel has refused to confirm its interest in C&W Optus, taking the "no comment" line, which has also been the watchword of Telecom boss Theresa Gattung.
However Ms Gattung has been quoted in the past as saying the company is keen to look at further acquisitions in Australia following its takeover there of AAPT.