We haven’t heard much about it in the last few weeks, but that doesn’t mean that NTL has given up on their attempts to buy Virgin Mobile. Last month, NTL offered ₤817 million for the company, or 323p per share (about $5.70 USD). Richard Branson owns 72 percent of the company. The deal was ultimately rejected as too low. Branson remains keen to do a deal and it is rumored that 360p per share would be sufficient for him. It is the institutional shareholders, though, that are holding out. They are determined to realize 400p for each of the shares they own.
Negotiations are resuming again this week post-holidays. NTL is keen to acquire Virgin Mobile to strengthen their position in the market. The acquisition would make them a four-play provider – adding mobile services to the TV, broadband and fixed-line phone services they already offer. If successful, the whole company would operate under the Virgin banner.
Adding another wrinkle to the deal is the existence of a group of private investors with cash to throw around and an interest in both companies. With everything involved, this will remain a very interesting deal to watch as it develops.