Tuesday, April 04, 2006

NTL buys Virgin Mobile and creates the communications and media company of the future

Virgin Mobile, the UK-based mobile phone operator controlled by Sir Richard Branson’s Virgin Group, has finally accepted cable group NTL’s takeover offer valued at £962.4m ($1.7bn).

NTL will have the use of Virgin’s brand for its consumer business under a 30-year licensing agreement that stipulates a minimum royalty each year of £8.5m.

The deal creates the UK’s first media company to offer “quadruple play”, comprising television, broadband and fixed-line and mobile phone services. And creates a new communications and entertainement juggernaut with the all-powerful Virgin brand behind it.

In my oppionion Richard Branson has just pulled off one of his most brilliant and strategic moves. As the leading shareholder in NTL he can become a key player in the new media space - where media, tech and telecomms converge.

BBC and Sky had better watch out! I'm a big believer in the potential of the new NTL and if they get it right, with converged digital music and video, mobile TV and broadband Internet access, utilising the Virgin brand and even Virgin services and content - they can truly become a leader in the next generation of communications and entertainment companies.

And they'll shake the entire UK market up behind them. That'll benefit every consumer.

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