NTL and Telewest to merge

NTL and Telewest to merge

Summary: After years of speculation and rumour, the UK's two cable operators are finally to merge in a $6bn deal

TOPICS: Networking

NTL has agreed to acquire Telewest in a deal that values Telewest at $6bn, the two companies announced on Monday.

Telewest shareholders will receive $16.25 (£9.22) in cash and 0.115 shares of NTL stock for every Telewest share they own, giving them around one quarter of the newly enlarged NTL.

The combined company will have a customer base of nearly five million customers, including 2.5 million broadband users.

The deal, which will leave the UK with a single cable operator, is subject to regulatory approval. The combined company will have more broadband customers than any other ISP but given the dominance of BT it is unlikely that the merger will be blocked on competition grounds.

While both companies are primarily focused on consumers, with their triple-play of telephony, Internet access and digital television, the deal has implications for corporate customers too. Telewest sells telecoms services to businesses and the public sector through its Telewest Business division; a merger with NTL could help it to reach more customers.

NTL and Telewest have predicted that the merger will allow them to save around £250m a year by 2008 and generate added value of £1.5bn, which could help the company to cut its prices.

Topic: Networking

Kick off your day with ZDNet's daily email newsletter. It's the freshest tech news and opinion, served hot. Get it.


Log in or register to join the discussion
  • To re-iterate comments made last December when the CIO at NTL resigned, Telewest customers can only hope that their generally good service levels don't plummet to the dismal standards of NTL.
  • I completely agree with the previous comment.
    That is one of the reasons why I have not chosen Telewest Blueyonder as my broadband supplier. They have in fact just updated my area with was previously a Eurobell area, from an analogue TV service & dial-up Internet access, to digital TV & Blueyonder Internet. Another consideration is of course the higher price, (at present), of both theTelewest & NTL broadband offerings.
    I have a friend who lives about 20 miles away & have helped him, from time to time. Re-establish his connection to the Internet & to e-mail. NTL customer service is in my opinion, completely & utterly appalling.
    On a scale of 10 to minus 10,000, NTL would in actual fact have considerable trouble reaching the lower figure.
  • As a Telewest customer I am now very concerned that my currently acceptable ISP will drop to the levels of NTL's abysmal performance.

    NTL has the worst reputation of any ISP I know of, and I urge all Telewest customers to contact Telewest and make their expectations of continued service known.
  • I don't understand all the NTL customers that moan. I have had my NTL 3Mb service for 2 years now (Previously 1.5Mb), and I've not had a single problem in the whole period: Installation was smooth and worked from the off. I still have the very same IP address from the day of installation.

    Speed: I get over 3Mb on speed test scores and my pings are consistant to a level of 15-20ms.

    No problems here I'm afraid
  • ntl=hell bt and other isps will aquire theyre customers as theyre already loosing tens of thousands of customers a month due to their awfull customer service,crap billing system and crap service
  • I agree with Richard Green. I have used NTL Cable modem service for some time and have had no problems. As for NTL customer service, this has improved dramatically over the past year.
  • As NTL customers from day 1 and dial up users since the old Cable and Wirless name I am not holding my breath.

    For over two years I have failed to get them to understand that it is ONLY when I dial up via their system do I get continious drop outs. They will not accept that with other suppliers (same kit and line) the problem does not happen. (Virgin for example, and if what I hear is true I wonder how long for..........)

    Even better when I ask to be transfered to the new BB for dial up users I am told that as my son has BB over his TV line, I can't have it over my BT telephone line; nor can I revert to pay-as-you-go dial-up in place of pay-per-month.

    As for Telewest customers, whom are getting much faster BB for no cost for example, I do think they are right to be concerned. We, for personal reasons, are stuck with NTL; but what Business Model are they actually running I do wonder.