Liberty Global has acquired Virgin Media in a deal worth $23.3 billion. The deal will increase Liberty Global’s reach to more than 25 million customers, across 14 countries to reach 47 million homes.
Virgin Media will still retain its logo and name, and once the acquisition goes through after the necessary approvals, Liberty Global will move its headquarters from Delaware to the UK.
Liberty Global has broadcast services across the US, Australia and Europe, and company chairman John Malone has been looking for a while to expand the media empire into the UK. Virgin Media brings gives Liberty Global access to 4.9 million fresh subscribers. Through this deal, Malone will take-on long time rival Rupert Murdoch, who owns BSkyB with a subscriber base of 10 million customers.
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.”
Virgin Media CEO Neil Berkett said: “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.”