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NTL may be target of 10bn GBP bid

NTL, the cable giant which recently underwent a mega-merger with Telewest and Virgin Mobile, could now be a target itself. It is understood an investment consortium comprising Providence Equity Partners, Blackstone, Kohlberg Kravis Roberts and Cinven has tabled an offer of £10bn for the firm.

The equity partners are believed to have made an approach to NTL following the company’s disclosure of its second quarter results. Although integration costs took their toll, forcing the company into a loss, revenues for the quarter almost doubled from £482m a year ago to £884m. However, customer churn figures showed that intensifying competition meant more subscribers were going elsewhere.

The board of NTL is rumoured to be reluctant to sell the company, at least at the price offered and Richard Branson, the previous owner of Virgin Mobile, is also thought to be opposed to the deal.

Branson acquired a 10.5 per cent stake in NTL when he sold Virgin Mobile to the group for £961m earlier this summer and has the right to vote his stock against any such takeover deals.

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