Buyers circling TalkTalk business arm in deal worth a potential £150m

TalkTalk's Salford campus

Nelson-based telecoms group Daisy and global media group Sky are believed to be rivals to buy the business-to-business operations of Salford telecoms provider TalkTalk.

TalkTalk Business Direct was put in the frame for disposal in March this year when the group appointed bankers Houlihan Lokey to oversee its sale in a deal that was then priced at around £200m.

Current estimates put a £150m price tag on the operation, though.

Daisy Group, which was founded by executive chairman Matthew Riley, was linked with a £175m takeover of Business Direct in 2018, but the deal failed to materialise.

TalkTalk Business Direct has around 80,000 small business and corporate customers.

It is is among the leading independent providers of data connectivity to the business market.

Group founder and executive chairman, Sir Charles Dunstone, took TalkTalk private in early 2021 with investment group Toscafund in a £1.1bn deal.

The potential sale of the business arm is seen as a means of paying down its £1bn+ debts and shaking up its operations.

The group is also legally separating its consumer division, which boasts four million broadband customers, from its wholesale division.

Business Direct recorded annual revenues of more than £85m and earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation of in excess of £17m.

TalkTalk, which was founded by Carphone Warehouse entrepreneur Sir Charles Dunstone in 2003 as a subsidiary to that business before being spun-off in 2010, comprises three divisions, including the B2B operation. It was listed on the London Stock Exchange for a decade.

TalkTalk declined to comment.

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