LGI’s Virgin acquisition receives EU approval

16 Apr 2013

The European Commission (EC) has cleared US-based Liberty Global Inc’s (LGI’s) proposed acquisition of UK cable network operator Virgin Media, after determining that the transaction would not raise competition concerns. In a statement, the EC said that it had approved the deal as ‘the parties operate cable networks in different Member States and because of the merged entity’s limited market position in the wholesale of TV channels in the UK and Ireland.’ As previously reported by CommsUpdate, in February 2013 it was confirmed that LGI had reached a deal to acquire Virgin Media, under which shareholders in the latter would receive USD17.50 in cash, in addition to 0.2582 LGI Series A shares and 0.1928 LGI Series C shares, for each share they hold in the UK operator. LGI’s Series A share price of USD69.46 and Series C share price of USD64.50 as at 4 February 2013 implied a price of USD47.87 per Virgin Media share, and as such, the implied purchase price of the entire transaction, before taking into account transaction costs and other expenses, represented an equity value of approximately USD16.0 billion and an enterprise value of approximately USD23.3 billion. Meanwhile, the USD5.9 billion cash component of the equity purchase price is to be funded ‘largely through a combination of debt financing and available liquidity of both LGI and Virgin Media’. The transaction is expected to close in the second quarter of 2013.

United Kingdom, Liberty Global, Virgin Media