29 September 2004 UK cable company NTL has acquired Virgin.net, the UK’s fifth largest Internet service provider.
Virgin.net was originally started as a joint venture between NTL and the Virgin Media Group in 1996, and now has just under 600,000 subscribers. Under the original partnership, Virgin Media owned the controlling share of the company.
But NTL has now taken control of the 51% of the company previously owned by Virgin.net, as well as all its shares, including those of senior executives. Financial details of the acquisition are yet to be disclosed.
“I am confident that Virgin.net will accelerate our growth by giving us access to new market segments, thereby complementing our strategy of extending our network through local loop unbundling,” said NTL CEO Simon Duffy.
He added that Virgin.net has “a strong presence in the Internet arena, underpinned by a powerful brand name and an outstanding team.” For this reason, NTL will continue to trade under the brand name ‘Virgin.net’.
The acquisition is the latest in a series of deals involving Internet service providers made over the past two years; an indication of consolidation in the sector.