Hutchison Whampoa and Singapore Technologies Telemedia (STT) are believed to be interested in buying troubled Asia Global Crossing, which claims it already has 19 potential suitors. Whether the two Asian companies, which are making a joint bid for parent company Global Crossing, will inject cash to acquire the Asian undersea cable operator is yet to be determined. A person advising the companies said: 'They are still evaluating Asia Global Crossing . . . whether they want to keep it.' A Hutchison spokesman would not comment on whether the company would be interested in making the acquisition. But people close to the Hutch-STT consortium confirmed it had signed a non-disclosure agreement with Asia Global Crossing. Asia Global Crossing said it had signed non-disclosure agreements with 19 parties that allowed them to carry out due diligence which could lead to an equity injection. Asia Global Crossing spokesman Selene Lo said: 'Our agreement with each party was different. We will present our business plans if they proceed.' Asia Global Crossing is searching for fresh funding after its parent refused to honour a guaranteed US$400 million loan last December. The company said it had enough funds for at least this year and was now hiring 100 sales staff and engineers. It has 450 employees. Last week, Citic Pacific confirmed it was part of a consortium which could make a bid for Asia Global Crossing. The consortium was reported to include investment group Carlyle Group, Softbank, and Emerging Market Partnerships. Citic Pacific deputy managing director Norman Yuen Kee-tong said: 'The whole process is going to be lengthy, we are at a very preliminary stage.' A spokesman for Reach, a joint venture between Pacific Century CyberWorks and Telstra, would not comment on whether the firm was among the parties interested in Asia Global Crossing. Leaks about Citic Pacific's discussions on Asia Global Crossing and the confirmation of suitors seemed odd to industry watchers. An executive said: 'The seller was pretty desperate. You can hold a party and nobody comes.' Yesterday, Jim Crowe, chairman of undersea cable operator Level 3, was quoted in the Wall Street Journal as saying it could acquire one or more telecoms rivals, including Global Crossing.