In a surprise move, America’s Liberty Media has abandoned its bid for bonds in British cable operator Telewest.

Citing the tumbling global markets, Liberty – the cable investment vehicle of John Malone – withdrew its $350 million (€345m; £221m) cash offer for the bonds.

Debt-laden Telewest is expected to execute a debt-for-equity swap that will see bondholders take control – hence the interest in bonds from Liberty, which currently holds a 25% stake in the cable firm.

The US group’s bid had met a frosty reception among bondholders, some of whom launched a lawsuit against it.

However, Liberty did not rule out a future offer, possibly at a lower price. To avoid conflicts of interest, it withdrew its three directors from the Telewest board.

Data sourced from: Financial Times; additional content by WARC staff