ntl-Virgin Mobile deal could be sealed this week

20 Feb 2006

UK cable operator ntl could seal its takeover of MVNO Virgin Mobile by the end of the week, according to the Financial Times. The paper claims that the Virgin Mobile board is preparing to recommend an increased takeover bid from ntl worth around GBP900 million (USD15.7 billion). It also says that Virgin Mobile chief executive Tom Alexander has agreed to stay on at the cellco following the deal. ntl first made an offer for Virgin Mobile, which is 71.3% owned by Sir Richard Branson’s privately held Virgin Group, in December 2005, but minority investors rejected the GBP810 million bid. ntl has now reportedly returned with an offer of 372p per share in cash for the cellco’s minority shareholders, whilst Sir Richard is expected to take a lesser 349p per share in cash and ntl shares to push the deal through. If successful, ntl plans to use the Virgin brand name across its operations, to establish a heavyweight internet, television and telecoms services company that could take on the dominance of BT and satellite broadcaster BSkyB.

United Kingdom, Virgin Media, Virgin Mobile UK