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ntl, Telewest shareholders rubber-stamp buyout [updated]

# Mar 3, 04:52 PM by Frank

Cableco ntl on Thursday said shareholders have overwhelmingly approved its acquisition of number two provider Telewest. The companies said 99 percent of shares at both ntl and Telewest were voted in favor of the deal, under which ntl is paying $16.25 in cash and 0.2875 share of the combined firm for each Telewest share.

ntl Chairman James Mooney said, “We’re extremely pleased to see shareholders recognize the value in combining our two companies. The combination will enable us to leverage each company’s strengths to drive significant consumer and shareholder value over the long term.”

The two companies anticipate that the closing of the transaction, which involves a reclassification and partial redemption of Telewest shares, and the merger of ntl and a subsidiary of Telewest, will take place on March 3, 2006 or shortly thereafter.

ntl shareholders will own approximately 75% of the combined company and Telewest stockholders will own approximately 25% of the combined company. The combined company will go forward under the NTL Incorporated name.

The combined company will have more than 5 million residential customers. It will be the largest provider of residential broadband services in the UK with 2.8 million subscribers, the second largest pay TV provider with 3.3 million subscribers and also the second largest fixed telephony provider with 4.3 million subscribers.

Shares of ntl fell 4 cents to $66.23, and Telewest rose 3 cents to $23.85 on the Nasdaq.

Update: The merger has now been officially announced.

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