Sweetened ntl offer for Virgin Mobile imminent

ntl Virgin logos

UK cable operator ntl is reportedly set to offer between 365p and 370p per share for Sir Richard Branson's Virgin Mobile. The Independent said the improved offer—ntl offered 323p before Christmas, but minority shareholders rejected that—was made during negotiations which have been continuing over the past 24 hours.

At the weekend, institutional investors in Virgin Mobile were said to be seeking at least 400p per share from ntl, which wants to adopt the Virgin brand for a 'quadruple play' offering of fixed and mobile telephony, plus digital television and high-speed internet access.

Branson, who owns 72% of Virgin Mobile, is likely to emerge from the merger with a 14% stake in the combined company. The Independent said ntl had been rumoured to be considering a licensing deal for the Virgin brand name instead of pursuing a full takevoer, though outgoing ntl CEO Simon Duffy was reported to have rejected that speculation.

Lovelace Consulting  |  13.01.2006

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