Virgin ready to buy Pipex – reports

Virgin Media is poised to buy British broadband provider, Pipex Communications, according to reports.

The Daily Telegraph reported Wednesday – without citing sources – that the investment bank, UBS which is advising Pipex, is seeking first-round bids for the company by Friday. The paper reported that British incumbent BT, is also interested in the firm.

According to the Telegraph, Virgin’s interest in Pipex stems from a need to boost its broadband coverage – a vital part of its quadplay strategy under NTL, its new owner.

Pipex has a market capital of £335m and recently announced it was looking for a suitor. It has 570,000 broadband customers.

Last year BT was thought to have considered buying Pipex for a rumoured £350m. At the time it was believed the incumbent was interested in Pipex’ WiMax business.

Pipex is one of the few UK ISPs that owns a licence to operate in the WiMax spectrum. The other is Hong Kong-based PCCW, through its UK Broadband arm.

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