ISP Tiscali UK has confirmed that it has agreed to take over triple-play provider HomeChoice. HomeChoice, which is owned by Video Networks, has struggled to win customers to its video-on-demand (VoD), internet and telephony services, attracting around 45,000 in London and Stevenage. Its network covers around 2.5 million homes, but it has failed to expand significantly outside of the capital. The acquisition will enable Tiscali UK to offer internet access, voice and now 95 channels of TV and video-on-demand services. ‘The prime reason for doing this deal is that we believe more and more customers are looking for bundled services,’ Tiscali UK chief executive told the Guardian.
According to the Financial Times, Video Networks will acquire an 11.5% stake in Tiscali UK in return for HomeChoice, which could rise to 20% dependent on future trading of the enlarged group. Italy’s Tiscali Group will retain the remaining 88.5% of the enlarged company. Following completion of the deal, which is expected to close by the end of August, Tiscali UK will have more than 1.3 million DSL customers, 350,000 voice users, 45,000 IPTV subscribers and an unbundled local loop network covering 300 BT exchanges servicing more than 220,000 customers.