Liberty Global buying Virgin Media for $23.3bn
Subject to shareholder approvals, Liberty Global is to purchase Virgin Media in a deal that is set to create the world’s leading broadband communications company, covering 47 million homes and serving 25 million customers across 14 countries. Bringing the two companies together, says Liberty Global, will allow the new combined venture to benefit from ‘complementary strengths’ across digital TV, broadband and telephony services.
Mike Fries, president and CEO of Liberty Global, says: “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. 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% of Liberty Global’s revenue will come from just five attractive and strong countries – the UK, Germany, Belgium, Switzerland and the Netherlands.
“Like all of our strategic acquisitions we expect this combination to yield meaningful operating and capex synergies of approximately $180 million per year upon full integration. But just as importantly, Virgin Media’s market-leading innovation and product expertise, particularly in mobile and B2B, will accelerate our own development of these business segments.”
Virgin Media CEO Neil Berkett adds: “Over the past six years, Virgin Media has transformed the digital experience of millions of customers, catalyzed a deep-rooted change in the UK’s digital landscape and delivered impressive growth and returns for our shareholders. I’m confident that this deal will help us to build on this legacy. Virgin Media and Liberty Global have a shared ambition, focus on operational excellence and commitment to driving shareholder value. The combined company will be able to grow faster and deliver enhanced returns by capitalising on the exciting opportunities that the digital revolution presents, both in the UK and across Europe.”