Equity firm targets Virgin Media

Virgin Media, the UK's leading cable television company, is set to be taken private for more than £5.5bn.

Carlyle, one of the world's leading private equity groups, has made a preliminary offer of between $33 (£16.50) to $35 per share for Virgin.

Shares in Virgin, which is listed on the US Nasdaq rather than in London, closed on Friday at $24.37 per share.

Sir Richard Branson is the largest investor in Virgin Media, which has 9m customers and a £4bn annual turnover.

The offer would value Virgin at approximately £5.6bn.

The total value of the takeover deal, including Virgin's debt of almost £6bn, would be about £11.5bn.

If it goes through, it would be the second biggest takeover of a British business by private equity, after Boots.

View: BBC News

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6 Comments

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Is "Buying Cable Companies" the in thing at the moment? It's like everyone is trying to do this? I mean, based on the details of this, even I could walk down to the bank, get a loan, tell them I'm buying a company that makes good money and pay them off slowly but surely.

Whoever it is, they'd better sort out the CS... It's bloody getting worse by the day!

I guess if they succeed they'll introduce new ISP rules like virgin did when they brought NTL. I look forward to Tech Support being charged at £1/second and bandwidth throttled to 25% if I download more than 10MB in a 12-hour window!

Cryton said,
I guess if they succeed they'll introduce new ISP rules like virgin did when they brought NTL. I look forward to Tech Support being charged at £1/second and bandwidth throttled to 25% if I download more than 10MB in a 12-hour window!

Isnt it like that now? It is more or less ... Support is now chargeable at 25p per minute £1 if its a none VM fault, ie your router or changing PC settigns. And the throttling is there like that on the 20Mb package, you get 25% speed if you go over their limit

3 very scary words 'private equity group'

1. Borrow billons from bank
2. Buy company
3. Take out loan in company's name from bank
4. Pay back 'private equity group'
5. Bleed company dry with outrageous 'management fees'
6. Sell off as scrap.

Sky must be laughing there arse off.

Not always true... The company I work for was "taken private" about 6 years ago and has just been sold again. During this time the turnover and profit have increased, so has the reach of the operation, number of customers and so on...

Having private backers focussing on the business can sometimes be better than lots of shareholders with their own agendas.

Sky should be worried - not laughing!