Virgin Media has confirmed it is in takeover talks with international cable company Liberty Global.
According to a report in The Financial Times, the business, which includes its mobile wing, would be worth around $20bn. Liberty Global's John Malone flirted with taking over the business more than five years ago.
The move has been seen as putting Malone head to head with former business partner Rupert Murdoch in the pay television market although Virgin Media boasts an aggressive mobile arm. According to its most recent set of results, the company has 1.67m contract customers, up 17.5% on 2011. Sales were down 3.1% to £136.8m as it continued to be affected by the changes to mobile termination rates. The company has also been rolling out a small cell network in the UK and is wholesaling out its London Underground Wi-Fi service to EE and Vodafone.
In a statement, a Virgin Media spokesperson said: 'Virgin Media confirms that it is in discussions with Liberty Global, a leading international cable company, concerning a possible transaction. Any such transaction would be subject to regulatory and other conditions.'
The spokesperson added that a further announcement would follow in due course.
Author: Graeme Neill