Liberty Media talks with Telewest

Best interests of the company, apparently

Telewest is to hold talks with Liberty Media about the future of the debt laden UK cableco.

In a letter to shareholders Telewest - burdened by £5 billion in debt - said that it is in the "best interest" of the company to enter into discussions with Liberty (the US media investment outfit owned by gazillionaire John Malone) and its bondholders concerning restructuring.

"These discussions will not begin until we have obtained the necessary waivers and consents from our banks," the cableco said.

Liberty - which already owns 25 per cent of Telewest - is looking to take control of the cableco.

In a separate development Microsoft said it has offered to sell its 23.6 per cent stake in Telewest to Liberty.

The offer values Microsoft's stake at about $332 million, according to the FT.

In May, Microsoft pulled three non-executive directors from the cableco's board.

At the time it explained that the move had been taken to consider, among other things, "purchasing or selling Telewest securities or engaging in possible strategic transactions involving Telewest".

At lunch shares in Telewest were up 0.38p (13.5 per cent) at 3.2p. ®

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