Telewest strengthens grip on UK cable business

Snaffles up Comcast Birmingham stake

Telewest Communications is to pay £130 million to gain a 99 per cent stake in Birmingham Cable, from Comcast and General Cable. Birmingham Cable currently has consolidated net assets of £71 million. The company has agreed to buy Comcast’s 27.47 per cent stake for £125 million, the additional £5 million will be paid to cover various fees owed to Comcast. The companies expect the deal to be finalised by the end of September. Telewest had previously announced a separate takeover of General Cable’s 44.95 per cent stake in the Birmingham company, but has changed course slightly. It now intends to merge with General Cable, and take control of the stake that way. Charles Burdick, finance director at Telewest, said: “Birmingham Cable’s operations are contiguous with our midlands franchises and together they will represent one of the largest clusters of cable franchises in the UK with almost one million homes.”

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