Following rumours, Liberty Global has announced the acquisition of Virgin Media for $23.3bn in cash and stock as it looks to expand its way into the UK cable network scene.
After the acquisition, Virgin Media is to retain its name and logo for the time being. No big changes look to come immediately to Virgin Media's 4.9 million subscribers.
Liberty Global is an international television and telecommunications company based in the US that has broadcast service across Europe, the US and Australia. It is reported that its chairman, John Malone, has been looking to make inroads into the UK for some time to expand the media empire, with Virgin Media always being a target.
Once the acquisition goes through after necessary approval, Liberty Global's headquarters will be moved from Delaware to the UK. This is where the company looks to take on the biggest broadcasting provider British Sky Broadcasting, which has over 10 million subscribers.
Liberty Global and Virgin Media combined are said to reach 47 million homes, serving 25 million customers across 14 countries worldwide. Both companies are expected to save $180 million a year, through deals on network equipment and IT contracts.
"Adding Virgin Media to our large and growing European operations is a natural extension of the value creation strategy we've been successfully using for over seven years," said Liberty Global CEO Mike Fries.
"Virgin Media will add significant scale and a first-class management team in Europe's largest and most dynamic media and communications market. After the deal, roughly 80 per cent of Liberty Global's revenue will come from just five attractive and strong countries - the UK, Germany, Belgium, Switzerland and the Netherlands."
Virgin Media subscribers: what do you think?