Virgin Media has conceded that the $23 billion sale of the company has been postponed as a consequence of the current turbulence within the private equity markets. “To enhance shareholder value, Virgin Media’s financial advisors have recommended that Virgin Media extend the process until these parties can complete their proposals in a more stable debt market environment,” the company said in a statement.
It seems likely that the sale of Virgin Media, formed from the amalgamation of NTL, Telewest and Virgin Mobile, will not be back on track until next October.
Carlyle Group, which triggered the auction by marking an unsolicited bid for the company, Providence and John Malone’s Liberty Media are all expected to enter the race.
Separately the launch of Setanta Sports News has been delayed after production partners TWI pulled out of the venture. Virgin Media, which had partnered with Setanta on the project, is still expecting to launch the channel but the September 29 launch schedule now looks unrealistic. Virgin was hoping that the Setanta channel would be able to replace Sky Sports News, which remains off the cablenet as a result of the long running carriage fee disput