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Tiscali completes Pipex acquisition

17 сентября 2007

Deal closes just four months after Tiscali confirmed its interest in possible Pipex acquisition. Tiscali announced Friday it has completed its acquisition of U.K. broadband provider Pipex in a deal worth £210 million, on a debt-free basis.

The original deal, announced in mid July, saw the Italian Internet provider acquire Pipex's consumer voice and broadband divisions, giving it a combined 15% share of the U.K. market and 1.9 million customers.

The closing of this deal brings to an end a saga of rumours surrounding the future of Pipex.

BT was originally thought to be interested in Pipex, with rumours emerging that the U.K. incumbent was lining up a £350 million bid.

That was in February 2006, yet it was another year before Pipex confirmed it was considering a sale. In March this year the operator responded to reports in the U.K. press claiming it was in talks with investment bank UBS to conduct a strategic review. At the time, it was thought any deal could be worth as much of £400 million.

BT, Carphone Warehouse, BSkyB, Orange and Virgin Media were the expected front runners in any kind of bidding process for Pipex; Tiscali didn't make its interest in the broadband provider known until May, when the Italian company's CFO Massimo Cristofori admitted they were "looking at Pipex", yet insisted negotiations were in the preliminary stages.

However, less than two months later Tiscali announced it had acquired Pipex, financing the deal with a €600 million debt facility from Intesa SanPaolo and JP Morgan.

Buying Pipex has brought Tiscali amongst other things 650,000 voice customers, 570,000 broadband subscribers, of which 250,000 are dual-play customers, and 100,000 SME customers.

Источник: Total Telecom

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