TalkTalk Confirms £1.1. Billion Takeover Offer From Shareholder

One of the UK’s largest Internet Server Providers (ISPs), TalkTalk, confirms it has received a takeover offer from one of its shareholders.

Investment fund Toscafund Asset Management (TAM) already owns 30.5 percent of the British ISP, but has now offered 97 pence per share, making the value of the takeover offer approximately £1.1 billion.

TalkTalk is currently the fourth largest ISP in the UK by subscriber numbers (4.2 million broadband customers), behind the likes of BT (which includes EE and Plusnet), as well as Sky Broadband, and Virgin Media.

Charles Dunstone

Takeover offer

The ISP in January this year, just before the Coronavirus pandemic engulfed the world, sold its FibreNation (its fibre network in York) and TalkTalk’s shareholding in Bolt Pro Tem Ltd to CityFibre for £200 million.

Now TalkTalk has confirmed it has received a takeover offer from TAM, which the board of directors is currently considering.

However it is understood the deal will need the nod of approval from Sir Charles Dunstone, who is the TalkTalk founder and who still owns 29.7 percent of the ISP.

“The Proposal contains a number of pre-conditions to announcing any firm intention to make an Offer, including, that TAM receives an irrevocable undertaking from Sir Charles Dunstone in support of such Offer including an election for any unlisted share alternative in respect of his entire holding of ordinary shares in the Company,” said the ISP.

“A further announcement will be made as and when appropriate,” it said.

Sir Charles reportedly rejected a bigger takeover offer from TAM last year, but the telecom market is facing a stiff challenge after Virgin Media (owned by Liberty Global) and O2 (owned by Telefonica), agreed in May this year to combine their operations in the UK.

Tom Jowitt

Tom Jowitt is a leading British tech freelancer and long standing contributor to Silicon UK. He is also a bit of a Lord of the Rings nut...

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