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Carphone Warehouse set to capture Tiscali UK

One of the longest-running disposal programs could soon come to an end with rumours in the market that Carphone Warehouse, the owner of the AOL broadband business, is set to acquire Tiscali's UK broadband operation for a mere £200 million. This is less than half of the price which Carphone Warehouse offered only last year when a £550 million deal was under discussion, before the company walked away and Sky broadband stepped in, only to see its own offer fall by the wayside.

While the deal is yet to be confirmed, inside sources claim that Carphone Warehouse is on the verge of agreeing a £200 million deal which will add around 1.7 million customers to its AOL brand. This would be a significant move for Carphone Warehouse which has for some time received severe criticism for its indecision as to whether it was going to spin off the broadband operation or sell to a rival.

This deal could throw a lifeline to the main Tiscali business which has seen its shares suspended in Italy and talks to banks ongoing for some time. While there were rumours of Sky broadband entering the bidding for the UK operation, it would appear that the company has failed to register an offer to gazump the Carphone Warehouse bid. Whether this may change in the short term, prior to any Carphone Warehouse deal being officially agreed, very much remains to be seen.

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