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NTL-Virgin Mobile tie-up expected soon...again

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NTL's "will they, won't they" bid to hook up with Virgin Mobile appears to be on again following a rash of reports that an announcement is imminent.

The terms of the deal are expected to be much the same as those floated at the beginning of the year when the cableco, which is in the process of merging its operations with Telewest, sweetened its offer for the cellco.

That bid values Virgin Mobile at more than £900m after the board of Virgin Mobile initially rejected an offer of £817m.

Two months ago Virgin Mobile confirmed that discussions with NTL "about a potential offer are ongoing" and that it would "make further announcements about these in due course".

If reports that an announcement is on the cards pan out, the enlarged group would be able to offer punters fixed line telecoms, internet, TV and mobile phone services.

This "quadruple play" of services is touted as the way forward by giving operators the chance to bundle services and customers the opportunity to receive multiple comms services on a single bill. The NTL business is also likely to rebranded under the Virgin brand. ®

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