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Tiscali swallows Pipex broadband and voice

Bridesmaid scores usher

The smart choice: opportunity from uncertainty

Updated Tiscali will cough £210m for Pipex's broadband and voice businesses later today, according to reports.

The deal, which we revealed was being finalised in mid-June, will bag Pipex 570,000 broadband punters. It'll take Tiscali's total UK ADSL base to about two million.

Pipex has been pimping itself since March in an attempt to offload its residential business. It's thought chairman Peter Dubens had wanted to flog the whole WiMax and hosting caboodle too, but suitors weren't interested in such an unwieldy proposition.

All the big players were linked with the UBS-brokered auction, but all passed, leaving Tiscali the only interested party.

Tiscali, a comparative runt in triple-play, now seems set to take on the big dogs of Sky, Virgin Media, and BT as a fourth mass market TV, internet, and home phone provider. City mumbles had suggested it was buy or die for the Italy-based outfit, which has been forced to repeatedly insist it is not for sale itself.

As part of Tiscali, Pipex customers can look forward to email as a "free extra", rather than an essential part of an ISP's job, and having their URL typos hijacked so their new provider can make pennies serving ringtone ads.®

Update

Pipex has confirmed the sale to the stock market. Corporate broadband customers will stay with the firm, as we reported last month.

Dubens said: "The strategic review announced in March remains in progress regarding the Group's other businesses, which continue to show strong growth in all areas."

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