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Carphone goes bargain hunting in Tiscali sell-off

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Carphone Warehouse has made a renewed, lowball offer for Tiscali's UK operations of "less than £450m".

The latest twist in Tiscali's lengthy attempt to offload its broadband customers pegs the value of its UK business much lower than the £600m its Italian owners targeted earlier in the auction, The Sunday Times reports.

Tiscali failed to find a buyer in time to meet a self-imposed deadline at the end of June. Carphone had made an offer, but it was rejected for being too stingy. BT, Vodafone and Sky also showed interest, but walked away from the bidding.

Since then, Tiscali's share price has fallen more than 40 per cent. The group has never made a profit, but is ranked fourth among UK ISPs, with 1.83 million subscribers.

A union with Carphone would create the UK's biggest internet operator, with about 4.6 million customers. It would make at least some sense given the pair's shared presence at the cheaper end of the market, but a cost-saving network integration would be likely be a nightmare. ®

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