Tiscali Could Split UK And European Arms To Push Up Valuation

Italian telecommunication firm Tiscali could be split in two separate operations to increase its valuations as offers received were deemed too low.

Vodafone is understood to have made the highest offer in an open bid but this has been rejected by the main shareholder and Tiscali founder, Renato Soru; Sky and Italian firms Fastweb and Wind have also placed bids.

Tiscali's shares are currently valued at less than £2, putting the company's market price at a hefty £1.12 billion and a forthcoming presentation could become the battleground for rival bidders.

A quartered Tiscali could attract a fierce bidding war for its British arm which includes a quad-play operation; Sky UK, Carphone Warehouse and BT have all expressed their interests in acquiring the Tiscali broadband and its 2.4 million subscribers.

Vodafone has also announced that it will launch its own ADSL service in Italy this summer after having acquired the Spanish and Italian arms of Swedish-based Tele2 for GBP 537 million.