Shareholders can either swap each share for 372p in cash, or for 0.09298 shares in ntl (equivalent to 352p per Virgin Mobile share), or benefit from a mix of ntl shares, convertible stock and cash. Branson has told ntl he intends to accept the third alternative.
The potential offer now needs to be approved by Branson, and recommended to Virgin Mobile's shareholders by its independent board. T-Mobile, which provides Virgin Mobile's network services, also needs to give the plan its consent before a formal offer is made.
In addition, ntl needs to agree an arrangement with Branson's Virgin Enterprises under which ntl will adopt the Virgin brand for a 'quadruple play' of fixed and mobile telephony, digital television and high-speed internet access. The brand name Virgin Vision is understood to be the favoured option for the combined new company.
Separately, ntl is continuing with its proposed takeover of Telewest, announced last October.
Lovelace Consulting | 17.01.2006