The chairman of Britain’s fifth biggest internet service provider, Pipex has launched a business review, sparking speculation that a sale could be on the cards. Speaking to UK broadsheet The Times, Peter Dubens said he was ‘reviewing the best way forward’ for the firm. City sources believe that Pipex, whose brands include Freedom 2 Surf, may look to divest parts of the business, such as its internet hosting division, making it easier for interested parties to snap up its consumer and small business broadband customer base. Analysts say the group as a whole could fetch up to GBP400 million (USD784 million).
Pipex was rumoured to have held talks with BT last year, but is also likely to be a target for BSkyB and Carphone Warehouse, as they seek to scale up their broadband customer bases. At the end of September 2006 Pipex had more than 570,000 broadband subscribers.