Liberty Global buys Virgin Media for $23B

Feb. 5, 2013 at 9:54 PM
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MERIDIAN, Colo., Feb. 5 (UPI) -- International media giant Liberty Global Inc. said Tuesday it is buying British cable television provider Virgin Media for $23.3 billion in cash and stock.

The deal, which is subject to stockholder approval, would give Virgin Media shareholders $17.50 in cash plus 0.2582 Liberty Global Series A shares and 0.1928 Liberty Global Series C shares for each Virgin Media share they hold, Liberty Global said in a release posted on its website. Liberty Global's Series A shares were priced at $69.46 and Series C shares at $64.50 as of Monday.

The offer implies a price of $47.87 per Virgin Media share, reflecting a 24 percent premium based on Monday's prices, Liberty Global said.

"Adding Virgin Media to our large and growing European operations is a natural extension of the value creation strategy we've been successfully using for over seven years," said Mike Fries, chief executive officer of Liberty Global, which has its headquarters in Meridian, Colo. "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, roughly 80 percent of Liberty Global's revenue will come from just five attractive and strong countries -- the U.K., Germany, Belgium, Switzerland and the Netherlands."

Neil Berkett, chief executive officer of Virgin Media, which has its headquarters in New York, said the two companies "have a shared ambition, focus on operational excellence and commitment to driving shareholder value."

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