Talks between Tiscali and Sky fail

Tiscali has admitted that protracted negotiations over a possible sale of its UK operations to Sky have now become almost "impossible" to continue.

Trading in shares of the Italian company was suspended on Friday. It has also asked its bankers to suspend interest payments on its 500m debt while it seeks to renegotiate its financial position and establish a new business plan.

A statement from Tiscali's board said: "Given the time frame of the negotiations with BSkyB for the disposal of certain UK assets of the Tiscali Group, which have not resulted in an agreement to date, due to the worsening of the market environment in which the potential buyer also operates, the Board of Directors has acknowledged that it is de facto impossible to proceed with the above mentioned negotiations."

In November, it emerged that Sky had made a bid believed to be in the region of 450m for Tiscali UK; however, the two parties were subsequently unable to agree on price.