TalkTalk, the broadband provider, has hired bankers to oversee a sale of its business-to-business division in a deal that analysts believe could fetch more than £200m.
Sky News has learnt that the company, which is privately owned, is in the early stages of a process to sell TalkTalk Business Direct, which serves more than 80,000 small business and corporate customers.
Houlihan Lokey has been hired to handle the process, according to insiders.
TalkTalk Business Direct is among the leading independent providers of data connectivity to the business market.
Any sale would include a long-term wholesale agreement providing preferential access to the TalkTalk network, according to insiders.
The division being earmarked for sale recorded annual revenue of over £85m and earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation of more than £17m.
One insider suggested there would be significant potential cost and revenue synergies potential for another B2B connectivity operator acquiring the business.
Last year, Sky News revealed that TalkTalk was in the crosshairs of telecoms industry rivals including Vodafone and Virgin Media O2 about a takeover of the whole group.
TalkTalk, which was founded by the Carphone Warehouse entrepreneur Sir Charles Dunstone, comprises three divisions, including the B2B operation.
It owns a direct consumer unit with 2.5 million customers and a wholesale platform which also has additional non-TalkTalk business and residential customers.
One source said the proceeds of a B2B sale would be reinvested in the company’s wholesale platform.
TalkTalk declined to comment.