Reports suggest that Virgin Media O2 (VMO2) is seeking to purchase TalkTalk’s separated consumer division
This week, a report from The Telegraph suggests that VMO2 is once again in negotiations with TalkTalk related to the acquisition of the latter’s consumer business.
If such a takeover were to take place VMO2 would see TalkTalk’s roughly four million UK broadband subscribers added to their books.
Discussions are said to be in the early stages, with no deal yet agreed.
VMO2 have long expressed an interest in purchasing TalkTalk, having entered negotiations on the matter multiple times in recent years without success. Perhaps the most notable of these discussions came in 2022, when VMO2 was reportedly working towards a £3 billion takeover bid that was ultimately shelved due to unfavourable regulatory and macroeconomic conditions.
Since then, TalkTalk has struggled under the weight of its £1.1 billion debt pile and, in September last year, announced plans to break up the business into three standalone companies, focussing on wholesale, consumer broadband, and small businesses, respectively.
The company’s Business Direct unit has already been sold to the company’s own shareholders for £95 million, while the wholesale unit is currently the subject of separate discussions with both infrastructure fund Digital Bridge and Macquarie, according to reports.
In other news, VMO2 announced today that they have partnered with Hiya to make use of the latter’s AI-powered scam call blocking Hiya Protect technology. The solution uses Adaptive AI to analyse call number behaviour to help in blocking nuisance and fraudulent calls for customers.
EE is notably also partnered with Hiya for this technology.
The news comes just weeks after Ofcom announced a further crackdown on scam callers, including introducing new measures to ensure that operators are doing all in their power to prevent scam calls.
How is the UK broadband market shifting in 2024? Join the experts in discussion at this year’s live Connected North conference