Sky-Tiscali talks on hold

The prospects for an early sale for the UK arm of Italian ISP Tiscali have faded after BSkyB withdrew from talks amid concerns over the asking price. While the Italian owners are said to be looking for 450 million, this is believed to be 100 million more than Sky is willing to pay.

The broadcaster has spent the last six weeks in due diligence, during which time they will have seen how many IPTV subscribers are still held by Tiscali in addition to its 1.84 broadband internet subscribers. Tiscali has not published separate IPTV numbers since Q3 2007, when subscribers sat at 36,000, subsequently Tiscali has extended its London footprint into Newcastle, Birmingham, Edinburgh, Leeds, Sheffield and Liverpool.

Carphone Warehouse and Vodafone have both previously withdrawn from the bidding process, also overprice concerns.