Taking a Liberty: Virgin Media Buyout?
# Feb 5, 11:09 AM by cfteam
Virgin Media have today confirmed, in a brief response to press speculation, that they are in talks with Liberty Global inc, for a possible transaction. A further announcement would be made in due course.
The news comes just ahead of Virgin Media’s final year results, and is widely believed to confirm the possibility of a takeover or buyout. Any arrangement is subject to regulatory and other conditions. Virgin Media’s shares have risen on the London Stock Exchange on confirmation of the talks which come almost a year after Virgin Media first achieved an operating profit. According to the Financial Times Virgin Media has an enterprise value in the region of $20 billion. Of course there is no guarantee, as yet, that any deal will be made.
Liberty Global are a US based cable company, operating in 13 countries, headed by John Malone. They currently have around 20 million subscribers, the majority of which are based in Europe. They are the second biggest telco after Comcast.
The Guardian has reported around Â£10million in royalty fees was paid last year to Virgin Group who have a holding of around 3% in Virgin Media. Virgin Group are not thought to be able to veto any deal.