Beardie cuts Virgin Media stake
Credit Suisse takes a shave
Richard Branson has cut his stake in Virgin Media by more than a third.
Virgin Group, Branson's investment vehicle which licences the Virgin brand to Virgin Media, now owns 6.5 per cent of the UK cable network, The Financial Times reports. It had owned 10.5 per cent.
Virgin Group transferred the shares to Credit Suisse, after using them as loan collateral in June 2007. It borrowed $224m, which it used to finance the launch of Virgin Mobile in India.
Credit Suisse has taken a heavy loss on the arrangement. In June 2007 Virgin Media shares were changing hands on Wall Street for about $25 each. They're now down at about $7, but climbing.
The loan payback isn't being interpreted as a sign Beardie might want out of Virgin Media. Virgin Group said "we remain very committed" to to the firm.
In other Beardie news, Branson will this week lecture fellow tycoons at Google's self-congratulatory, whalesong-heavy "Zeitgeist" conference in London. ®
He borrowed $25 per share and "defaulted" on the loan and gave up the shares now worth $7, so he made a profit on the loan of $18 per share.
Tosser he may be (@Rob) but it seems no idiot he. (@Colin Barfoot)
I'm guessing Branson got just as annoyed with endless, endless reams of junk mail from Virgin Media as the rest of us do.
(Which, interestingly, when you sign up to the MPS, doesn't stop coming - but instead, stops coming addressed to you personally, and starts coming addressed to THE OCCUPIER instead.)
The Alan Sugar for the younger generation?