Virgin Media O2 wants to make a multi-billion pound offer to acquire rival TalkTalk as it plans to challenge BT and Sky as the UK’s leading broadband, TV and mobile provider.

Reports over the weekend revealed that Virgin Media O2 is ready to purchase TalkTalk for around £3bn following formative discussions between the two parties.

The deal is still in the early stages and is taking place on a non-exclusive basis for now.

However, Virgin Media O2 is eager to bring in TalkTalk’s 4.2 million broadband, telephone and pay-TV customers and 2.4 million fibre connections.

Such a move would vastly increase Virgin Media O2’s scope of operations as it continues its quest to rival major players in the sector.

Virgin Media O2 currently has 6 million customers across its services, while O2 has 34 million mobile customers.

TalkTalk, which is based in Salford, has been the target of several approaches about an acquisition in recent months, according to reports, with Sky and Vodafone among those interested.

However, it appears that Virgin Media O2 is at the head of the pack, even though it is yet to place an official bid.

TalkTalk was taken private in a deal worth £1.8bn less than two years ago by Martin Hughes’s Toscafund.

Its value has increased since then and Virgin Media O2, which is owned by Liberty Global and Telefónica, wants a buyout to strengthen its market share.

The move is indicative of the consolidation that telecoms providers in the UK want to usher in.

Despite the reports about Virgin Media O2 and TalkTalk, neither party involved has yet to officially comment on the prospect of a deal.