Wind Swirls Around Tiscali

12:15 PM Italian rivals could join forces, if the price is right

July 21, 2009

1 Min Read
Wind Swirls Around Tiscali

12:15 PM -- Naguib Sawiris, whose Weather Investments owns Italian operator Wind Telecomunicazioni SpA , would consider an acquisition of struggling Italian broadband service provider Tiscali SpA , according to this Reuters report.

Tiscali has sold its U.K. and wholesale operations and is in the middle of a financial restructuring process. (See Tiscali Completes UK Sale, Tiscali Takes Next Step to Survival, and Tiscali Sells Int'l Unit .)

Tiscali's Italian business has about 550,000 broadband customers (at the end of the first quarter), making it the fourth player in the market. It generated revenues of just €75 million (US$107 million) and a small profit before tax, during the first three months of this year.

Wind, which offers mobile as well as fixed services, generated revenues of €1.37 billion ($2 billion) during the same period and finished March with more than 17 million mobile customers and 1.45 million broadband customers.

Buying Tiscali's Italian operation would make Wind the No. 2 broadband player in Italy, as it would leap ahead of Fastweb SpA (Milan: FWB), which ended March with 1.54 million broadband users.

News that Sawiris would consider a bid of some sort pushed Tiscali's share price up by more than 7.8 percent to €0.30.

— Ray Le Maistre, International News Editor, Light Reading

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