Sale of Tiscali to Sky at critical point
Tiscali in Milan has asked its bankers to suspend interest repayments on its 500 million euro debt. In the current economic crisis this is not unusual, but with negotiations between Tiscali and Sky over the sale of Tiscali's UK operations which encompass some 1.8 million broadband connections taking a rocky road, this latest news is not going to make things easier.
A Reuters article quotes that it is "almost impossible" for the talks with Sky to continue; the sale had been expected to be completed or least agreements reached by the end of March 2009.
Tiscali is best known for its low priced consumer telephone and broadband services as well as its triple-play Tiscali TV bundle. The firm also owns the Pipex, Nildram, Freedom2Surf and old Bulldog brands, plus there a number of wholesale agreements with other broadband providers. One option might be for Tiscali to sell off some of the assorted broadband brands or its wholesale business.
Given the competition for customers in the UK market there is little doubt that someone will pick up the Tiscali's user base, although the price is likely to be a significant bargaining point whilst each side tries to get the best deal possible.