Debt Doubts Delay Virgin Media Sale

09 August 2007

LONDON: Growing turmoil in the global credit markets has forced UK/USA cable operator Virgin Media to extend its strategic review, effectively putting on ice any imminent sale of the company.

VM received an initial offer from private equity firm Carlyle Group and others have subsequently expressed interest in the auction.

Glossing the issue, the company says its financial advisers "have recommended that Virgin Media extend the process until these parties can complete their proposals in a more stable debt market environment".

Despite the delay, VM is adamant that "potential strategic and financial counterparties have continued to confirm a strong ongoing interest in a transaction."

The UK cable monopoly has been struggling since its debut as the new face of NTL-Telewest, and is currently embroiled in a bitter legal dispute with rival monopolist BSkyB, the News Corporation-owned British satellite television giant.

Data sourced from Wall Street Journal Online; additional content by WARC staff