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Virgin Mobile takeover talks with NTL 'ongoing'

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Virgin Mobile says discussions with cableco NTL about a possible £900m takeover are "ongoing" and it hopes to make further announcements about the tie-up "in due course".

This brief update came as the cellco announced its latest set of figures for the three months to December. According to the bean counters, service revenues were up 20 per cent, the amount each punter spent (ARPU) hit £121, while the total number of active users increased 12 per cent to 4.3m.

Virgin Mobile chief exec Tom Alexander said: "We begin 2006 in a strong position, with industry leading revenue growth, rising ARPUs and a growing customer base, and therefore look with confidence to the future."

And what did he have to say about NTL's proposed buy-out of Virgin Mobile? "Our discussions with NTL about a potential offer are ongoing and we will make further announcements about these in due course."

In December it emerged that NTL, which hooked up with cable outfit Telewest, was in talks to buy-up Virgin Mobile. But the board of Virgin Mobile "unanimously rejected" the £817m bid for the cellco saying that it "undervalued" the business. NTL has since upped its bid to more than £900m and the two sides are still talking. ®

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