Virgin and Carlyle

Don’t do it Richard.
Hold on, Everybody Is Coming. Stop.
Think. Look.
No Blood for Oil.
Stop. Sky. Virgin. Cloud. Mist. Earth. Banks and Environment think tanks.
All the so called news groups ALL forgot to LINK Wikipedia to their news
Or any link other than ABORTISEMENTS? wonder why?

Carlyle Group @ wiki

Report: Virgin Media receives preliminary offer from Carlyle Group

The Associated Press
Published: July 2, 2007

LONDON: Virgin Media Inc. has received a preliminary offer from private equity firm the Carlyle Group valuing the company at around 5.5 billion pounds (US$11.1 billion; €8.2 billion), Dow Jones Newswires reported Monday.

Quoting “a person familiar with the matter,” Dow Jones said that Carlyle has offered between US$33 and US$35 (€24.38 and €25.86) per share for Virgin Media. The company also has roughly 6 billion pounds (US$12.1 billion; €8.9 billion) of debt.

Shares in Virgin, which is listed on the Nasdaq Stock Market rather than in London, closed on Friday at US$24.37 (€18.05) per share.

Virgin Media could not immediately be reached for comment.

UBS said that a private equity approach for Virgin Media could result in a reduction of competitive pressure on rival British Sky Broadcasting PLC.

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“It could also result in a more pragmatic approach, with Sky and Virgin finally reaching an agreement on Sky basics which could be in the interests of both groups and Virgin Media customers,” analysts said in a research note.

Virgin Media, the byproduct of a number of mergers, including the former cable operators NTL Inc. and Telewest and the mobile operator Virgin Mobile, reported its seventh consecutive quarterly loss in May after subscribers defected to rival BSkyB.

Virgin Media lost customers earlier this year when it stopped airing basic BSkyB channels, dropping popular programs such as “Lost,” “24,” and “The Simpsons,” as the result of a battle over fees during negotiations to renew a distribution agreement.

BSkyB has long dominated pay TV in Britain, accounting for around 70 percent of the country’s pay-TV subscribers. But the arrival of Virgin Media has threatened a shake-up of the status quo, and relations between the two have become increasingly rancorous.

Entrepreneur Richard Branson is the largest shareholder in Virgin Media with a 10.5 percent stake. He also licenses the Virgin name to the company and gets paid for promotional appearances. –


Virgin Media bids may price-in an end to digital TV battle

Alan Shipman – 02-Jul-2007

Private equity interest in UK cable provider Virgin Media could spark a bidding war, but heavy debt and loss of subscribers cast doubt on upper-end valuations reaching £10bn.

A biddding war is looming for Virgin Media, the recently rebranded union of UK cable operators NTL and Telewest, with private equity group Carlyle reported to be preparing a bid that could value the company at over £5bn. If it goes ahead, Carlyle’s offer is expected to spark counterbids from other media groups, though media ownership regulations could restrict the field. A sale would give Richard Branson, who took a 10.5% stake when NTL/Telewest merged with Virgin Mobile, funds for new projects including a bid to repurchase Virgin Radio, which Scottish Media Group is preparing to spin off.
Virgin Media has begun to exploit the synergies from adding mobile phones to its television, landline and broadband bundles, and to tackle the customer service problems suffered by its constituent companies before unification. But the company inherited large losses from its previous spending spree on regional cable franchises. And profits have ebbed as its core cable television subscriptions come under pressure from rival digital broadcasters Sky and Freeview, each of which has amassed more TV viewers, helped by the offer of free channels. Virgin’s new owner is expected to seek more cooperation with Sky, ending the war which has seen it withdraw channels from the cable operator, an action currently heading for the courts.

Reports: Virgin Media eyed in $10B buyout
Buyout firm weighs $10 billion-plus offer for British cable company that counts Branson as biggest investor: newspapers.
July 1 2007: 8:23 PM EDT

NEW YORK ( — Carlyle Group is in talks with Virgin Media over a buyout offer of $10 billion or more and Richard Branson, the British cable company’s biggest investor, is open to considering a deal, news reports said Sunday.

The New York Times, citing a person familiar with the negotiations, said that the talks are still early and may not lead to a bid. The report noted that as their warchests have grown, U.S. buyout firms like Carlyle have looked more aggressively to do deals overseas.

Sir Richard Branson

On Saturday, two American private equity firms, Providence Equity Partners and Madison Dearborn Partners, joined with the Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan in a deal to buy Bell Canada, that country’s largest telephone company, for about $33 billion in one of the biggest leveraged buyouts on record.

Buyout boom’s best days may be over
British weekend news reports said Providence might be interested in making an offer for Virgin Media as well.

The Times of London, quoting unnamed financial sources, said Branson is open to a buyout of the British cable company, paving the way for a potential deal at $10 billion (£4.9 billion) or more.

The New York Times said in its report a deal could be worth nearly $20 billion if you include assumed debt. That would rank it among the biggest buoyut deals ever in Britain. Last month, Alliance Boots, the pharmacy chain, agreed to a $21.8 billion offer from its deputy chairman and Kohlberg Kravis Roberts after a bidding war, the newspaper noted.

A spokeswoman for Virgin Media declined to comment, according to Reuters.

Virgin Media in May reported its seventh consecutive quarterly loss after subscribers defected to rival BSkyB, the New York Times said. The loss widened to $242 million.

Branson, through his company Virgin Group, holds a 10.5 percent stake in the $8 billion Virgin Media, the London Times said in its report.

Critics of the Carlyle Group frequently note its connections to various political figures. Some of the sectors and companies in which it invests are highly sensitive to political activity; indeed, its actions may be viewed as a form of political arbitrage. This may create conflicts of interest when political decision makers have their own personal wealth [1] linked to such investments. Carlyle is the largest private equity firm located in Washington, D.C., its corporate headquarters are located on Pennsylvania Avenue.
Critics refer to Carlyle as a private military contractor, because it owns controlling or partial interests in several military contractors. For example, it used to own United Defense Industries, which was developing the Crusader artillery project. This project was funded in eight consecutive Clinton budgets but was cancelled soon after Bush became president, eliminating the remaining $9 billion of the original $11 billion contract. A much smaller contract was awarded to United Defense to capture technologies developed during the eight years of development.
In the book House of Bush, House of Saud, author Craig Unger states that Saudi Arabian interests have given $1.4 billion to firms connected to the Bush family. Nearly 85% of the $1.4 billion, or about $1.18 billion, refers to Saudi Arabian government contracts awarded to defense contractor BDM in the early to mid 1990s. Carlyle, however, sold its interest in BDM before former President George H. W. Bush joined as an advisor.
Former President George H.W. Bush retired from Carlyle in October 2003. George W. Bush served on the Board of Directors of early Carlyle acquisition Caterair. Bush left the board in 1992 to run for Governor of Texas.
The Saudi Arabian relatives of Osama bin Laden were also investors in Carlyle until October 2001 when the family sold its $2.02 million investment back to the firm in light of the public controversy surrounding bin Laden’s family after the terrorist attack on September 11, 2001. The bin Laden family has publicly disowned the al-Qaeda leader.[citation needed] Osama bin Laden has no publicly known or acknowledged economic interest in Saudi Binladin Group (SBG), whose investments were in part managed by the Carlyle Group until the arrangement was terminated by mutual consent. –

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