A bidding war for Virgin Media appears to be on the cards after the American buyout specialist Providence instructed its advisers to prepare for a $22 billion offer for the cablenet. Providence has linked with Kolberg Kravis Roberts & Co, Blackstone and Cinven. Other private equity groups are understood to be planning to table their own bids for the company that only went live in February 2007 from the combination of NTL and Telewest with Virgin Mobile.
Virgin is in the process of conducting a formal auction that would be run by its financial advisors UBS and Goldman Sachs. It is anticipated that Virgin will set an August deadline for the first round of bids.
Carlyle Group, which triggered the latest interest in Virgin, is understood to have so far been denied access to Virgin’s financial numbers and has only met briefly with the cablenet’s management.