German business daily Handelsblatt reports that local telecoms operator Versatel Communications is preparing to launch a bid for struggling rival Orion Cable, the parent company of cablecos Tele Columbus and PrimaCom. According to the report, the Dusseldorf-based company has begun looking for funds to finance the acquisition, which could cost around EUR450 million. Versatel is owned by Apax Partners (41.67%), United Internet (25.21%) and Cyrte Investments (25.04%), with the remaining 8.08% in free float, and analysts believe the funding required could be provided by one of its owners. As reported by CommsUpdate earlier this month, a number of German telecoms operators have already reportedly expressed an interest in acquiring Orion Cable, which is said to be burdened with debts of EUR1.7 billion (USD2.4 billion) and has around 3.2 million customers. The interested parties include Munich-based cableco Kabel Deutschland (KDG), Cologne-based rival Unitymedia and mobile operator Vodafone Germany, which also operates its own fixed line network for the provision of telephony and broadband internet services, but has not yet ventured into the cable market.