The boards of Virgin Media and Liberty Global have agreed terms for a takeover of the UK cable company, according to CNBC.
On Tuesday Virgin Media confirmed it was in talks with John Malone’s Liberty Global.
The US pay-TV firm already operates services in 13 countries including the Republic of Ireland, Germany and Poland.
Virgin Media is the UK’s second largest pay-TV platform with 4.9m subscribers but the nation’s third largest platform behind Freeview and Sky.
The deal values Virgin Media at £15bn and will see Liberty Global redomicile from the US to the UK through the creation of a new UK Plc holding company.
However Liberty will remain listed on NASDAQ and will continue to report financial updates in accordance with the US Securities and Exchange Commission regulations.
One Virgin Media director will be appointed to Liberty Global’s Board of Directors.
It’s expected that the Virgin Media brand will remain although there are longterm questions about the company’s tie-up with TiVo Inc, suppliers of its set top box software, given Liberty’s ownership of a rival platform already used by many of its international subsidiaries.
Mike Fries, President and CEO of Liberty Global, said: ‘Adding Virgin Media to our large and growing European operations is a natural extension of the value creation strategy we’ve been successfully using for over seven years.
“Virgin Media will add significant scale and a first-class management team in Europe’s largest and most dynamic media and communications market. After the deal, roughly 80% of Liberty Global’s revenue will come from just five attractive and strong countries – the UK, Germany, Belgium, Switzerland and the Netherlands.”
Virgin Media CEO Neil Berkett added: ‘Over the past six years, Virgin Media has transformed the digital experience of millions of customers, catalysed a deep-rooted change in the UK’s digital landscape and delivered impressive growth and returns for our shareholders. I’m confident that this deal will help us to build on this legacy.
“Virgin Media and Liberty Global have a shared ambition, focus on operational excellence and commitment to driving shareholder value. The combined company will be able to grow faster and deliver enhanced returns by capitalising on the exciting opportunities that the digital revolution presents, both in the UK and across Europe.”