Virgin Media O2 is reportedly eyeing up a £100 million ($121m) bid for alternative network fiber broadband company Trooli.
According to Sky News, the operator is one of many firms interested in acquiring Trooli as part of a formal auction process.
Trooli is said to be exploring a possible sale as the altnet market becomes more saturated.
Founded in 2003, Trooli focuses its FTTP rollout across rural and semi-rural postcodes across the UK's southern counties, including Berkshire, Buckinghamshire, Dorset, Kent, and Hampshire.
The company said it achieved coverage of roughly 275,000 UK premises with FTTP in August of last year, stating at the time that it plans to pass one million by the end of 2024.
In August 2021, the company raised £70 million ($84.7m) of senior debt to help expand the business, but the company has reportedly been hit by soaring costs, supply chain problems, and labor issues in the last year.
Interest from Virgin Media O2 has been registered as part of the sale process, with bankers at Lazard handling this process.
An insider told Sky News that the acquisition could be carried out through Virgin Media O2 joint venture, Nexfibre, which has ambitious plans to rollout FTTP coverage to up to seven million homes by 2027.
Virgin Media O2 completed their own merger back in 2021, as part of a 50-50 JV between Virgin-owned Liberty Global and O2-owned Telefónica.
Last year, the company scrapped its £3 billion ($3.63bn) pursuit of another UK broadband provider, TalkTalk. The company pulled the plug after months of discussions, amid market and regulatory uncertainties.