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EU Clears GBP15bn Liberty Global Takeover of UK Cable ISP Virgin Media

Monday, April 15th, 2013 (1:23 pm) - Score 634

As widely expected the European Commission (EC) has today granted approval for international cable operator Liberty Global (LGi) to continue with its £15bn acquisition ($23.3 billion – enterprise value) of UK cable provider Virgin Media.

According to Reuters, the commission didn’t find any major competition concerns with the deal and appears to have been happy to let it through. The current CEO of Virgin Media, Neil Berkett, will no doubt be pleased as he also stands to leave the business with the equivalent of £58 million ($86.8m) in his pockets (here). Richard Branson will also see his shares and cash from the ISP grow to around £200m.

Meanwhile existing customers are still waiting to learn precisely what the deal will mean for their future services. So far Liberty Global has only talked about “capitalizing on the exciting opportunities that the digital revolution presents” and the “significant potential to monetize [Virgin Media’s] customer base, with opportunity to deliver current customers enhanced bundled and premium services“ (here).

In the meantime there are no major changes to worry about as the administrative processes of such an acquisition tend to slow the introduction of new products, branding and or services. We expect to get a better idea of what’s ahead sometime later this year.

Leave a Comment
8 Responses
  1. Avatar Phil says:

    £58 million ($86.8m) in his pockets – what a greedy sod he is. He should give some of it to cancer charity. No wonder UK fed up of greedy businessman.

    1. Mark Jackson Mark Jackson says:

      To be fair most are from his own share holdings.

  2. Avatar Kyle says:

    If they had any sense, they would kill off the Virgin Media brand.

    1. Mark Jackson Mark Jackson says:

      Branding is a good question. LGi may want to reinforce their global image but at the same time Virgin Media has spent millions upon millions promoting their new identity since the original NTL and Telewest merger.

      I suspect that the Virgin Media brand isn’t so weak as to be discarded. On the other hand Richard Brandson’s share of the deal is about £200m (£67m is cash), although he hasn’t yet indicated whether his shares in the operator will be sold. If he does sell then the Virgin Media brand is perhaps that much more likely to become LGi.

  3. Avatar unhappy virgin guy says:

    so where’s the news about this new virgin traffic management policy that’s meant to start as of tomorrow? all i know is its something to do with http://community.virginmedia.com/t5/Announcements/Traffic-Management-trial/td-p/1520488 and from what i’ve heard it gonna be REALLY bad for the end user’s when it comes to downloading or uploading

    1. Mark Jackson Mark Jackson says:

      Where did you see that it would start tomorrow? So far we only know that it’s still in trial and nobody is 100% sure precisely what will be changed until VM has finalised the details.

  4. Avatar unhappy virgin guy says:

    all i know is tomorrow virgin will update there traffic management policy if this true or not i don’t know, how ever i would keep your eyes open on the traffic management policy as if it’s as bad as i’ve heard ALOT of customers will be kicking off big time!

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