“Virgin Media confirms that it is in discussions with Liberty Global, a leading international cable company, concerning a possible transaction,” Virgin Media said in the briefest of statements.
It said any transaction would be subject to regulatory consideration and a further statement issued in due course.
Virgin now has a market capitalisation of £7.6 billion and would help provide LGI with opportunities for cost savings across its network, even if Liberty Global CEO Mike Fries has dismissed the TiVo product on which Virgin is now building its subscriber base. Liberty has opted for its own Horizon product on its UPC network.
Virgin Media was created in February 2007, from NTL and Telewest, the final move in the consolidation of UK cable.
NTL was established in 1991 as an investment vehicle under the name International Cabletel. In 1996 it acquired National Transcommunications Limited (NTL), which had been formed out of the old Independent Broadcasting Authority engineering division and included the transmission business now known as Arqiva.
Telewest traced its routes back to 1984 and the United Artists cable network. It took on the Telewest moniker after the 1991 merger with US West (a US telco bought in 2000 by AT&T).
As of September 30, 2012, Virgin had 4,851,000 consumer cable customers.