on verge of sale

Online directory business is on the verge of being bought by British Telecom.

Online directory business is on the verge of being bought by British Telecom.

The move will enable BT to build a new directory inquiries service around the Scoot brand.

Former stock market darling Scoot has had a bumpy ride in recent months as it was almost out of cash. Scoot's share price has also tumbled to just 0.65p from a peak of 351½p in 2000.

It is thought new chief executive Terry Martin, who has been credited with keeping the business alive, has been holding discussions with BT for a number of weeks. BT declined to comment.

The proposed deal comes after telecoms regulator Oftel announced plans to end the 192 inquiries service and replace it with a number of competing services, due to be introduced later this year.

It is likely a tie-up could also secure 400 jobs at Scoot's call centre in Telford and at the firm's Uxbridge headquarters, the paper said.

Scoot has already sold its free-ads newspaper Loot to Daily Mail & General Trust as part of its struggle for survival

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