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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.

Désiré has been musing and writing about technology during a career spanning four decades. He dabbled in website building and web hosting when DHTML and frames were en vogue and started writing about the impact of technology on society just before the start of the Y2K hysteria at the turn of the last millennium. Following an eight-year stint at where he discovered the joys of global tech-fests, Désiré now heads up TechRadar Pro. Previously he was a freelance technology journalist at Incisive Media, Breakthrough Publishing and Vnunet, and Business Magazine. He also launched and hosted the first Tech Radio Show on Radio Plus.