Virgin Media confirms Liberty Global bid, shares rocket higher

Virgin Media on Tuesday confirmed reports John Malone's Liberty Global has made a bid to take over the UK cable operator.

Virgin Media on Tuesday confirmed reports John Malone's Liberty Global has made a bid to take over the UK cable operator.

Liberty has put in an offer for Britain's second biggest pay-TV business, which has a market value of £7.554bn.

"Virgin Media confirms that it is in discussions with Liberty Global, a leading international cable company, concerning a possible transaction," Virgin said in a statement.

"Any such transaction would be subject to regulatory and other conditions. A further announcement will be made in due course."

Virgin was formed by the merger of cable groups Telewest and NTL and mobile operator Virgin Mobile. The company sells cable TV, telephony and broadband and competes with market leader BSkyB, part-owned by Rupert Murdoch's News Corp.

A successful bid for the pay-TV operator would put Malone head-to-head with Murdoch.

The two have been rivals and partners over the years with Malone accumulating an 18% stake in Murdoch's News Corp. before exchanging it for the media giant's holding in US satellite business DirectTV.

However, Malone told the Financial Times in November 2011 he would not bid against Murdoch for BSkyB after the phone-hacking scandal forced News Corp. to drop its efforts to buy the entire stake of the company.

"In all the transactions we have done with him he has had the greatest integrity, [so] I am not about to jump and give him a hard time," he said at the time.

But he expressed his desire to be in the UK and said he believed cable companies would gain market share from satellite platforms as internet video services increase.

Shares in Virgin Media are rocketing higher by 14.49% to 2,820p on Tuesday.

RD

Recommended

HubSpot: a tech stock set to tumble
Trading

HubSpot: a tech stock set to tumble

US tech stocks have had a fantastic couple of years. But this year is unlikely to be so bullish for high-fliers that can’t turn big profits.
18 Jan 2022
How to be better at selling stocks
Investment strategy

How to be better at selling stocks

There is plenty of advice around about buying stocks, but not so much about when you should sell. John Stepek explains the two key things to know abou…
14 Jan 2022
Share tips of the week – 14 January
Share tips

Share tips of the week – 14 January

MoneyWeek’s comprehensive guide to the best of this week’s share tips from the rest of the UK's financial pages.
14 Jan 2022
Fintech: how to profit as technology transforms banking around the world
Share tips

Fintech: how to profit as technology transforms banking around the world

Financial technology – from apps to APIs to the cloud – is rapidly transforming financial services. This will spell doom for some incumbent firms, whi…
14 Jan 2022

Most Popular

Five unexpected events that could shock the markets in 2022
Stockmarkets

Five unexpected events that could shock the markets in 2022

Forget Covid-19 – it’s the unexpected twists that will rattle markets in 2022, says Matthew Lynn. Here are five possibilities
31 Dec 2021
US inflation is at its highest since 1982. Why aren’t markets panicking?
Inflation

US inflation is at its highest since 1982. Why aren’t markets panicking?

US inflation is at 7% – the last time it was this high interest rates were at 14%. But instead of panicking, markets just shrugged. John Stepek explai…
13 Jan 2022
Tech stocks teeter as US Treasury bond yields rise
Tech stocks

Tech stocks teeter as US Treasury bond yields rise

The realisation that central banks are about to tighten their monetary policies caused a sell-off in the tech-heavy Nasdaq stock index and the biggest…
14 Jan 2022