VOD: Vodafone Receives Bids for its Infostrada Internet Unit - TheStreet

Vodafone's

(VOD) - Get Report

Airtouch unit received two formal bids for its Italian Internet unit

Infostrada

, including one bid worth about $10 billion, according to

The Wall Street Journal

.

Still, the company is considering going ahead with plans to take the unit public if the bids aren't improved, the story cited people familiar with the talks as saying.

The company needs cash, in part, to pay for its acquisition of

Mannesmann

.

The leading bid, a combination of cash and high-rated bonds, came from

Wind

, which is a venture of Italian state-controlled electric utility

Enel

(EN)

and

France Telecom

(FTE)

. The second offer, including a large proportion of lower-rated securities, was from

Albacom

, an Italian telecommunications company whose shareholders include

British Telecommunications

(BTY)

, state-controlled oil group

Eni

(E) - Get Report

and Italian television broadcaster

Mediaset

.

The

Journal

also reported that Vodafone is talking to two nonItalian telecom companies that could possibly make a bid for Infostrada.

Vodafone was planning a public offering for 49.9% of Infostrada, which the

Journal

story says is still in the works unless the unit is sold.