ntl-Telewest and BSkyB-Easynet mergers approved

9 Jan 2006

The UK’s Office of Fair Trading (OFT) has approved the merger of cablecos ntl and Telewest, and the takeover of ISP Easynet by pay-TV giant BSkyB, without referring either deal to the country’s Competition Commission.

Meanwhile, the institutional shareholders of MVNO Virgin Mobile UK – a takeover target for ntl – say they will not sell their stakes in the cellco for less than GBP4 per share. Last month ntl had its offer of GBP3.23 a share rejected, despite public support for the deal by Virgin Mobile’s majority shareholder Richard Branson. Branson holds 72% of the company, but requires the approval of his fellow investors to secure a sale.

United Kingdom, Virgin Media, Virgin Mobile UK