ntl-Telewest deal announced

4 Oct 2005

As expected, UK cable operators ntl and Telewest have announced the terms of their long anticipated merger as the pair seek to team up against the might of BSkyB in the pay-TV sector. The two companies have signed a deal which will see ntl taking over Telewest, the smaller of the two, and merging it into its own operations. Telewest shareholders will receive USD16.25 in cash plus 0.115 stock in the merged company for each share they own. ntl is also taking on USD3 billion of Telewest’s debt in a deal that values the smaller company at close to USD6 billion. ntl’s CEO and chairman, Simon Duffy and Jim Mooney, will retain their posts and head up the new company. Telewest’s acting chief executive Barry Elson will leave, whilst Telewest Chairman Cob Stenham will become deputy chairman. Both companies expect around a net USD2.6 billion in synergies, according to the Financial Times. It is not yet known whether Telewest will continue with the planned sale of its content business Flextech.

United Kingdom, Virgin Media