Sunday, December 4, 2005

ntl Expected to acquire Virgin Mobile -- UK Quadruple Play

ntl is in talks to acquire Virgin Mobile, possible creating a UK "quadruple play" communications company with cable TV, high-speed broadband, mobile phone and fixed-line voice services.

In October, ntl confirmed plans to acquire Telewest for GBP 3.4 billion ($6 billion), creating the UK's second largest communications company with a cable footprint covering more than 50% of the nation's households. The combined company will have nearly 5 million customers, including 2.5 million residential broadband subscribers and the second largest fixed telephony supplier with 4.3 million subscribers.

Virgin Mobile is backed by billionaire entrepreneur Sir Richard Branson and uses T-Mobile's network. Since its launch in November 1999, Virgin Mobile has attracted more than 5.6 million customers. Branson is expected to hold 14% of the combined company once the merger is completed.

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