Tiscali Expects to be Bought within Two Years

Tiscali expects its businesses to be bought up by rivals in the next two years, according to Tommaso Pompei, its chief executive. Speaking to the FT, Pompei said he did not see many opportunities for Tiscali to buy rivals, and therefore it was more likely that the company’s UK and Italian broadband operations would be sold.

However, he said the company was not for sale, adding that he was focused on executing its 2008 strategy to report a net profit for the first time in its 10-year existence.

Pompei predicted a second wave of consolidation in the coming two years. “We do expect to be part of this process,” he told the Financial Times. He added that Tiscali had previously received expressions of interest in its UK operations, although no negotiations were taking place.

“This year for sure we’ll be 100 per cent focused on our results, but we are prepared to react should the consolidation take place.”

Last September, Tiscali agreed to buy broadband supplier Pipexfor £210m which transformed it into the fourth-largest supplier of internet access. But some analysts still question whether Tiscali has sufficient scale to remain independent.

Pompei said Tiscali’s UK and Italian operations represented the only remaining independent broadband operations for rivals to buy if they wanted to increase market share significantly.

“This year is crucial for our company because, as anticipated, it will be a turnover of the new strategy and the new plan, with important financial results to be achieved,” he said. “Once we are there, let’s see what happens, and we are open to consider all alternatives.”

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