Malone strikes Virgin deal to take on Murdoch
ReutersLONDON--John Malone's Liberty Global struck a deal on Tuesday to buy British cable group Virgin Media for about US$15.75 billion in stock and cash, a move that would put the U.S. billionaire up against old rival Rupert Murdoch.
February 7, 2013, 12:03 am TWN
The companies announced the deal in a statement late on Tuesday, after Virgin Media, the second-biggest pay-TV provider in Britain behind Murdoch's satellite group BSkyB, confirmed Liberty's approach earlier in the day.
Including debt, the deal would be worth more than US$23 billion and would give Liberty entry to one of Europe's biggest and most competitive telecom markets, allowing it to apply lessons learned as a pay-TV and broadband provider in 11 other European countries.
It would also put Malone's Liberty in a strong position to challenge Murdoch as cable groups across the region start to assert their authority over traditional telecoms firms with the offer of super-fast broadband and pay television.