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Virgin Media seeks sanctuary in telco buyer

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Virgin Media has appointed an investment bank to court potential telco buyers as an alternative to private equity carpetbaggers, who are targeting the cable firm.

The Financial Times reports that UBS was hired yesterday to canvass "strategic buyers". US giants Comcast and Time Warner Cable, and European cable group Liberty Global got calls, but are probably not interested, according to the paper.

Private equity is still viewed as the most likely buyer of the debt-ridden UK cable monopoly. An offer of about £11.3bn is on the table from the Carlyle Group.

The boom in private equity could be heading for the buffers, however. Rising interest rates, a clampdown on tax breaks, and volatility in the risky debt markets which drive the sector are all making waves. More here from The Economist. ®

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