NTL and Telewest merger on the horizon

9 May 2005

The UK’s two largest cable operators NTL and Telewest have confirmed they are finally taking steps towards a long awaited merger, with both companies preparing to sit down for negotiations over a possible consolidation. NTL, the larger of the pair with revenues of GBP2.1 billion last year, is being advised by Goldman Sachs, whilst Telewest (GBP1.3 billion) is still searching for an advisor. A merger or takeover has long been seen as necessary if the cablecos are to compete more effectively with BT in the telephony market and BSkyB in the UK pay-TV sector. Both operators borrowed heavily to expand their networks during the telecoms boom and have since struggled with considerable debt burdens following the collapse of the technology market.

United Kingdom, Virgin Media