NTL Incorporated, the holding company of the ntl: Telewest group, which now includes Virgin Mobile, today announced that having received all necessary court approvals, ntl: Telewest’s acquisition of Virgin Mobile has completed and
Virgin Mobile’s shares have been de-listed from the London Stock Exchange.
Under a previous agreement, ntl: Telewest has also entered into a licensing arrangement with Virgin Enterprises permitting use of the Virgin brand for ntl: Telewest’s full portfolio of consumer services.
Together, the Virgin Mobile acquisition and licensing agreement will make ntl: Telewest a powerful new force in the fast-changing communications and entertainment industry, and provide consumers with their first opportunity to buy a ‘quadruple-play’ of competitively priced TV, internet and fixed and mobile telephony services from a single operator through one of the UK’s most trusted brands. As the UK’s digital revolution gathers pace, the deal will also position the company to exploit the growing demand for converged products and services.
For the time being, however, they will continue to operate as separate organisations and brands, so there will be no change to the services or terms and conditions of either company’s customers. It is anticipated that the company will start marketing a single portfolio of services under the Virgin brand some time early in 2007, if not sooner.
Commenting on the transaction, ntl:Telewest’s CEO Steve Burch told Mobile Business: "This is a transformational deal for ntl:Telewest and good news for UK consumers. Virgin Mobile has a justified reputation for being one of the country’s most customer-focused companies. This combined with ntl:Telewest’s portfolio of competitively-priced, cutting edge products, will create a formidable competitor in the UK’s fast changing communications and entertainment industries."
Alan Gow, Managing Director of Virgin Mobile told us: "Virgin Mobile’s growth from a start-up to one of the UK’s most pre-eminent and successful mobile operators in such a short time has been nothing short of meteoric. We’re looking forward to taking the experience, values, and attitude that have got us where we are today and applying them to the challenge of the future: of building with our new colleagues at ntl:Telewest a world-class, new Virgin company with the most exciting range of communications and entertainment services in the UK."
Sir Richard Branson, founder of the Virgin Group, commented: "Today, we’ve created a unique organisation – a new, soon-to-be-branded Virgin company – which will offer the very finest in ‘quadruple’ – the best-value, most -exciting TV, broadband, mobile and phone services in Britain. We’re entering a pioneering time, where the worlds of media, entertainment and communications are coming together – and through our new company, our aim is to offer consumers the very best, most sought-after choice available. You ain’t, as the saying goes, seen nothing yet…"
The last date for despatch of cheques and share certificates and crediting of ntl CDI’s in respect of new ntl shares is 18 July 2006.