John Malone’s Liberty Global announced this morning that it had completed its $24 billion deal to buy Virgin Media.
Denver-based Liberty Global first announced it was buying Virgin Media in a stock and cash deal back in February. Since then Liberty Global has ran the gauntlet of gaining regulatory and stockholder approvals, as well as wrapping up the closing conditions that were associated with the deal.
“This is a great day for customers, employees and shareholders of both Liberty Global and Virgin Media,” said Liberty Global CEO and President Mike Fries. “Together we now provide over 47 million video, voice and broadband services to 25 million customers located principally in 12 European countries. With superior network capacity, the fastest broadband speeds and innovative digital TV platforms, we've never been more excited about the growth potential and strategic direction of our business.
“Virgin Media will continue to thrive under the leadership of Tom Mockridge who starts as CEO today, with the support of a fantastic management team which includes both Liberty Global and Virgin Media executives.”
Liberty Global announced last month that former News Corp. executive Mockridge would take over the helm of Virgin Media.
With Virgin Media in hand, Liberty Global took over the top spot as the world’s largest cable operator from Comcast. Comcast was the king of the cable operators worldwide with 22 million subscribers.
“Virgin Media has become one of the U.K.’s most powerful media brands thanks to both the loyalty of its customers and the energy of its employees,” Mockridge said. “I am fortunate to be joining the company at this important inflection point in its development, and look forward to working closely with Mike and the broader Liberty Global team to deliver cutting-edge products and services that excite and inspire our customers.”
As a result of the closing, Liberty Global, a public limited company organized under the laws of England, has become the new public parent company of Liberty Global, Inc. and Virgin Media. Liberty Global’s Class A, Class B and Class C ordinary shares will begin trading on the NASDAQ Global Select Market on Monday under the same symbols: LBTYA, LBTYB and LBTYK.
The shares of both Liberty Global, Inc. and Virgin Media will cease trading when the market closes today, and will be deregistered under securities laws.