Internet communications group Tiscali International's SA operations are in the throes of a bidding process that has been narrowed to five possible buyers. There is speculation is that the asking price is more than R300 million.

Sources familiar with Tiscali South Africa say that the final list of five bidders has been selected, and that due diligence investigations are now underway. They expect the winner to be announced within the next two weeks.

While the identities of the final five bidders have been kept a closely guarded secret, there is considerable speculation that at least two of the country's top four Internet service providers (ISPs), namely Telkom and M-Web are in the running.

Currently Tiscali is rated as the second largest ISP in South Africa's dial-up market with around 100,000 subscribers. M-Web is the largest with around 250 000 and Telkom Internet and Absa Internet run close in third and fourth place.

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