France Telecom has expressed an interest in paying more than £1.2bn for NTL's broadcast towers transmission business.
France Telecom, already the largest shareholder in the cable operator with a 24 per cent stake, is thought to be talking to lenders about restructuring debt to free up more cash for the bid.
The telco wants to expand its own towers business, while the cable giant is hoping that the sale will mollify nervous shareholders.
Financial analysts have been worried that NTL lacks sufficient funds to see it through to profitability, something which has unsettled shareholders.
The cable firm has net debt of about £11bn and is expected to spend a further £1.6bn of its £1.8bn cash and bank facilities before it breaks even.
However, France Telecom's bid may fall short. NTL has said it has received two rival bids, believed to be from financial buyers, but is refusing to name the companies.
The Financial Times this morning reported that both bidders were prepared to put more cash on the table than France Telecom and were of greater appeal.
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