US cable executive John Malone is considering entering the race to buy Virgin Media. In an interview with the Financial Times, the Liberty Global chairman said the company was currently “doing its homework”. Malone’s interest comes at a time when stock market pressures have begun to impact on the climate for a private equity bid. Liberty’s European subsidiary UPC operates in a number of European markets including Ireland, the Netherlands, Poland and the Czech Republic.
“We have to look at it, not in a traditional way but in a quite exceptional way, perhaps with partners, perhaps in ways we’d not regard a normal cable company,” said Malone, opening up the possibility of a joint approach with one of the 10 private equity firms and cable companies currently eyeing the UK cablenet.
In his FT interview Malone questioned whether anything could flourish under the “Death Star” of BSkyB.
Interest from Carlyle Group sparked the interest in Virgin that will culminate in an auction for the company on August 8.