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Virgin Media Moots Withdrawal from Corporate Telecoms

Posted: 05th Aug, 2008 By: MarkJ
The Times reports that Virgin Media has devised a plan for withdrawal from the corporate telecoms market. This would allow the group to concentrate on its existing consumer broadband and Television (TV) services, which have been given investment priority:

A sale of the division, which hooks up small businesses to the internet and also holds a number of local-authority contracts, could raise £600m for Virgin. However, combining it with another telecoms supplier, rather than a straight disposal, is the most likely exit.

The investment bank Goldman Sachs formulated a proposal to combine Virgin’s operation with Thus, which is now being bought for £329m by Cable & Wireless. The plan discussed with Thus would have injected private-equity money into the enlarged group. A reseller agreement, so traffic would still be carried on Virgin’s network, was also prepared.

Virgin’s business division had sales of £642m last year, though it has warned this will fall. Bankers estimate it makes a profit of £100m.

It's also hinted that some of Virgin Media's content divisions, including its Bravo and Trouble channels and a half share in UKTV, could be put up for sale. Ultimately competition, combined with the current economic climate, is putting a lot of pressure on Virgin and it must adapt or risk falling behind.
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