Tiscali calling up Carphone Warehouse?

Chris Forrester

The days are counting down to monthís end, when Italy-based broadband company Tiscali must get its banking arrangements in order. It now looks increasing likely that Tiscaliís British assets will go to Carphone Warehouse Ė and that a deal will be in place this week.

Should a deal get consummated then Tiscaliís UK subscribers numbering some 1.8m joining with Carphoneís existing 2.8m TalkTalk customers and propel Carphone into the UKís Number 2 broadband supplier, behind British Telecomís 4.7m.

However, the Fat Lady has yet to sing, and it is possible that with Tiscaliís UK assets being sold at a bargain basement price of around £350m, down some 45% on a year ago, it is always possible that an 11th hour bid might emerge from the sidelines. BSkyB, for example, reportedly declined to comment Friday.

Tiscali, in a statement April 24, confirmed "the existence of negotiations for the disposal of its activities." It added that the sale talks would proceed together with the ongoing debt renegotiation process.