UK fixed player TalkTalk was reportedly approached by a number of companies over a potential deal, Financial Times (FT) reported, with mobile giant Vodafone Group speculated as one of the suitors.

FT and a number of other UK media outlets claimed TalkTalk’s owners had charged investment bank Lazard with assessing its options in the wake of the interest.

Fixed and broadband player TalkTalk was only acquired by current owners Tosca IOM in 2021, after announcing a deal to take the operator private in late 2020.

TalkTalk targets the value end of the fixed market and provides access primarily through BT-owned wholesaler Openreach. Information on its website places customer numbers at 4.2 million, of which 2.4 million take its fibre service.

The latest speculation is not the first time Vodafone has been linked with a deal for TalkTalk, though a formal bid has never materialised.

The operator group already offers fixed services in the UK through wholesale agreements, but faces mounting pressure from fully converged rivals BT and the recently merged Virgin Media O2.

Vodafone is said to be one of a number of companies assessing making a move for TalkTalk, with broadcaster Sky reported to be in the frame by its independent news affiliate Sky News.

The outlet pinned the price of a potential deal at £3 billion, in excess of £1 billion more than Tosca paid for it.