International cable TV, broadband and telephone business Liberty Global is acquiring Virgin Media in the UK. Virgin Media itself was created from a merger, when NTL and Telewest joined with Virgin Mobile in 2006.
The new combined business will reach 47 million homes, covering 25 million people across 14 countries.
Liberty Global’s takeover is worth around $23.3 billion and is subject to both shareholder and regulatory approval.
Mike Fries, President and CEO of Liberty Global, said “Adding Virgin Media to our large and growing European operations is a natural extension of the value creation strategy we’ve been successfully using for over seven years. Virgin Media will add significant scale and a first-class management team in Europe’s largest and most dynamic media and communications market. After the deal, roughly 80% of Liberty Global’s revenue will come from just five attractive and strong countries - the UK, Germany, Belgium, Switzerland and the Netherlands.”
“Like all of our strategic acquisitions we expect this combination to yield meaningful operating and capex synergies of approximately $180 million per year upon full integration. But just as importantly, Virgin Media’s market leading innovation and product expertise, particularly in mobile and B2B, will accelerate our own development of these business segments.”
Virgin Media has just released financial results that showed it ended 2012 with almost 4.9 million cable customers - up 1.8% from the previous 12 months. There are just over 1.7 million ‘pay monthly’ mobile customers, 12% up on the previous year, although prepay numbers fell.