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Liberty Global in takeover talks with Virgin Media

US media mogul John Malone may get a crack at Rupert Murdoch's pay-TV turf if it buys UK broadband company Virgin Media.
Written by Liam Tung, Contributing Writer

Pay TV and broadband company Virgin Media is in takeover talks with US media conglomerate Liberty Global.

Virgin Media confirmed in a statement on Tuesday it was in discussions with Liberty "concerning a possible transaction", but has not said what form any deal would take if it proceeds.

Liberty Global's current bid for Virgin Global follows an attempt five years ago to acquire the media company, according to the Financial Times.

A Virgin acquisition would help further Liberty Global CEO John Malone's plan to expand the business' European presence and also place it head to head with rival Rupert Murdoch's pay TV network BSkyB, which dominates the UK's pay-TV market.

The company last month raised its stake in Belgian telco Telenet to around 58 percent, and in recent years has also acquired German cable providers Kabel Baden-Wuerttemberg and Unitymedia.

Some analysts expect Liberty Global would need to pay as much as $24bn to take over Virgin Media. However, at the average acquirer's premium for the past year of 22 percent, its value would be closer to $11.8bn at $43.94 a share.

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