ntl seeks to retain Flextech

ntl / Telewest logo

Cable operator ntl is reportedly looking at a restructuring of its $6bn acquisition of Telewest in order for it to retain Telewest's content arm Flextech.

The Daily Telegraph said ntl was keen to prevent a pay-TV rival such as Sky from acquiring Flextech's half-share in the UKTV digital channel venture with the BBC.

The BBC has the right to force ntl to sell its half-stake in Flextech since its ownership would change under the merger.

But, as the Telegraph reported, ntl chief executive Simon Duffy—who will run the merged entity—told an investment bank last week that he was looking at ways to deal with the change of control provision around UKTV and the BBC.

Meanwhile, The Sunday Times reported that two more firms had joined a consortium of private equity groups lining up a takeover bid for both ntl and Telewest. The firms—Kohlberg Kravis Roberts (KKR) and Providence Equity Partners—are joining forces with Blackstone and Cinven to table a bid as soon as ntl has completed its merger with Telewest, said the newspaper.

Lovelace Consulting  |  18.10.2005

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