British broadsheet The Sunday Times is reporting that Vodafone is the frontrunner to buy a strategic 25% stake in the soon to spun-off wireless arm of Telekom Malaysia. Six weeks ago TM’s board announced it would radically reorganise its business in 2008, spinning off its domestic wireless arm Celcom and its international businesses to create a stand-alone unit (dubbed RegionCo) worth in the region of MYR28 billion (USD8.2 billion). The new company will comprise Celcom, as well as the group’s stakes in Excelcomindo (Indonesia), Dialog (Sri Lanka), TM International (Bangladesh), MobileOne (Singapore), Spice Communications (India), Telekom Malaysia International (Cambodia) and Mobile Telecommunications of Esfahan (Iran). Under the new set-up RegionCo will focus on overseas expansion in high growth markets, as a pure-play wireless operator. ‘In anticipation of a sale, TM has been courted by a range of foreign operators and private-equity firms,’ the Sunday Times said. Vodafone already has a branding deal with Celcom.