Liberty Global to acquire Virgin Media for $23.3bn


International cable company to buy telecoms provider to create the world’s largest broadband communications company

Liberty Global is to buy Virgin Media in a deal worth $23 billion (£14.7 billion), subject to shareholder approvals.

The stock and shares deal, which is expected to be completed in Q2, will create the world’s leading broadband communications company, covering 47 million homes and serving 25 million customers across 14 countries.

As part of the acquisition, the Virgin Media brand in the UK will remain with one of its directors, to be named before the closing of the deal, joining Liberty’s board of directors.

Liberty Global will become a subsidiary of a new holding company, a UK plc, with its current headquarters and other offices remaining. It will be listed on NASDAQ and said it may look to implement a European listing following the completion of the deal.

Virgin Media CEO Neil Berkett said: “Over the past six years, Virgin Media has transformed the digital experience of millions of customers, catalyzed a deep-rooted change in the UK’s digital landscape and delivered impressive growth and returns for our shareholders. I’m confident that this deal will help us to build on this legacy.

“Virgin Media and Liberty Global have a shared ambition, focus on operational excellence and commitment to driving shareholder value. The combined company will be able to grow faster and deliver enhanced returns by capitalizing on the exciting opportunities that the digital revolution presents, both in the UK and across Europe.”

Liberty Global president and CEO Mike Fries said: “Virgin Media will add significant scale and a first-class management team in Europe’s largest and most dynamic media and communications market. After the deal, rough;y 80 per cent of Liberty Global’s revenue will come from just five attractive and strong countries – the UK, Germany, Belgium, Switzerland and the Netherlands.

“Virgin Media’s market leading innovation and product expertise, particularly in mobile and B2B, will accelerate our own development of these business segments.”