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Last Updated: Friday, 13 July 2007, 13:49 GMT 14:49 UK
Tiscali buys Pipex broadband unit
A Pipex advertising campaign starring David Hasselhoff
Pipex used Baywatch star David Hasselhoff in a recent ad campaign
UK internet firm Pipex has sold its broadband and phone business to Italian rival Tiscali for 210m ($426.6m).

The sale of the division follows a four-month strategic review of Pipex by investment bank UBS.

The purchase of Pipex's broadband unit - which was put up for sale in March - is expected to lift Tiscali's UK broadband customer base to 1.9 million.

Tiscali also unveiled a first-half core profit of 60m euros (40.7m; $82.7m), up 45% on last year.

Consolidation

Pipex is one of the last big independent broadband providers still to be operating in the UK, following a number of recent deals such as the purchase of PlusNet by BT.

The prospect of a sale has therefore been closely watched by rivals such as BT, BSkyB and Virgin Media.

Pipex itself has expanded through a number of acquisitions in the past few years.

In March 2006 it bought the Homecall voice and line rental business from Phones4U for 44m. It has also acquired Toucan from IDT Telecom and Bulldog's broadband customers from Cable & Wireless.

The company also used Baywatch star David Hasselhoff in a recent advertising campaign to attract customers.

In addition to its Pipex brand, the firm also sells internet services under the Nildram, Bulldog and Freedom2Surf names - each itself formerly an independent internet service provider.


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