Big U.K. Deal: NTL Acquires Telewest

NTL Inc. will acquire Telewest Global Inc. in a deal valued at approximately $6 billion, the two U.K.-based MSOs said Monday.

The combined firm will be the United Kingdom's second-largest communications company and leading triple-play service provider with a cable footprint covering more than 50% of U.K. households, NTL and Telewest said.

The company will have nearly 5 million residential customers and it will be the largest provider of residential broadband services in the country with 2.5 million subscribers, the second-largest pay TV provider with 3.3 million and the second-largest fixed-telephony provider with 4.3 million.

Telewest shareholders will receive $16.25 in cash plus 0.115 shares of NTL for each Telewest share.

The company’s board will include all of NTL’s current directors, plus two from Telewest. James Mooney will be chairman, Anthony (Cob) Stenham deputy chairman and Simon Duffy president and CEO.

Acting Telewest CEO Barry Elson will leave the company upon the completion of the transaction, and Telewest chief operating officer Eric Tveter will leave the company at the end of 2006.

“The company will have additional resources to roll out new product offerings such as HDTV, [video-on-demand] and [voice over Internet protocol] across its footprint,” Mooney said in a prepared statement.