British telecoms network Talktalk has put discussions with Prudential-owned investment vehicle Infracapital on hold amid a valuation dispute on a £1.5bn deal to roll out full-fibre broadband to millions of homes across the country.
Sky News reported tonight that the two parties have reached an impasse on the joint venture, which was announced in February.
The independent company was to be 80 per cent funded by Infracapital, with the rest to be made up by Talktalk in addition to becoming the venture’s first wholesale customer.
One source told Sky News the discussions had faltered because of a disagreement over Talktalk’s valuation of its full-fibre trial in York, which has reached around 20,000 homes to date.
The joint venture was set to be spearheaded by Talktalk’s chief operating officer Charles Bligh, with former BT executive Paul Reynolds as its chairman.
The breakdown in talks arrived on a busy day for broadband news, as mobile operator Three announced an investment of more than £2bn into building a UK-wide 5G network. Rival EE additionally lined up nine new 5G broadband trial sites in East London.
A Talktalk spokesperson said: “We remain fully committed to our full-fibre plans and will update at our interim financial results on 21 November.”
Infracapital declined to comment.