‘Oh, No John, No John, No!’ Telewest Bondholders Tell Malone

19 June 2002

A group of anonymous investors accounting for almost half of Telewest’s outstanding bond debt of £5.3 billion ($7.86bn; €8.29bn) yesterday told US cable tycoon John Malone they opposed the offer by his investment vehicle Liberty Media to buy up 20% of Telewest’s outstanding bonds.

The group, represented by Andrew Wilkinson, of Cadwalader, Wickersham & Taft [WAMN: 05-Jun-02] declared themselves “sceptical” that the offer was in the best interests of all shareholders. Their combined clout easily out-punches Malone who controls 25.2%; although this situation could change if Liberty acquires the 23.6% per cent equity stake recently put up for sale by Microsoft [WAMN: 16-May-02].

Meantime, Cadwalader, a New York law firm specializing in financial business, said that Telewest had yet to agree to its request for a meeting. Given that Telewest has already responded, saying that “Cadwalader will be treated as any other [bondholder] once we have ascertained who they are acting for,” the lack of such a meeting suggests that the firm's clients are reluctant to identity themselves.

Data sourced from: The Times (London); additional content by WARC staff