UK cable giant NTL has completed its long-pending takeover of Virgin Mobile in a deal valued at $1.68 billion (£962 million) in cash and shares. NTL will re-brand itself with the Virgin name within one year.
The new group will be the first in the UK to provide a four-way offer of cable TV, internet access, fixed line telephony and mobile phone services.
“It is truly a step-change transaction not only for NTL but for the media sector as a whole in the UK,” said James Mooney, executive chairman of NTL. Virgin Mobile, which is 71%-owned by Sir Richard Branson’s Virgin Group, had rejected NTL’s original £871m bid.
NTL has also agreed to an exclusive 30-year licence for the Virgin brand and believes this will help attract and retain customers. It will have to pay 0.25% royalties on its revenue for three decades to Virgin Enterprises for the use of the brand name. NTL has also persuaded Virgin Mobile management to stay on and run the business.