Liberty Global to acquire Virgin Media for $23.3 billion

  • American billionaire John Malone's cable group, Liberty Global, is to buy the UK's Virgin Media in a cash and stock deal worth $23.3 billion, it was announced on Wednesday.

    The deal will create the world's largest broadband company, boasting 25 million customers across 14 countries.

    Liberty Global already has operations in various European countries, including Germany and Belgium.

    "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 of Liberty Global.

    Under the terms of the agreement, Virgin Media shareholders will receive $17.50 in cash, 0.2582 Liberty Global Series A shares and 0.1928 Liberty Global Series C shares for each Virgin Media share they hold.

    This is equal to a price of $47.87 per Virgin Media share, a 24 percent premium to Virgin Media's closing price on February 4.

    Alongside the announcement of the deal, Virgin Media also reported a 30 percent rise in operating profit to $1.09 billion last year.

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