Bloomberg Anywhere Login

Bloomberg

Connecting decision makers to a dynamic network of information, people and ideas, Bloomberg quickly and accurately delivers business and financial information, news and insight around the world.

Company

Financial Products

Enterprise Products

Media

Customer Support

  • Americas

    +1 212 318 2000

  • Europe, Middle East, & Africa

    +44 20 7330 7500

  • Asia Pacific

    +65 6212 1000

Communications

Industry Products

Media Services

Follow Us

Virgin Media Debt Downgraded by Fitch After Liberty Global Deal

June 17 (Bloomberg) -- Virgin Media Inc., the British television and Internet company owned by John Malone’s Liberty Global Plc, was downgraded to four levels below investment grade by Fitch Ratings.

Fitch cut Virgin Media three levels to B+ from BB+, the ratings agency said today in a statement. Fitch expects Liberty Global to increase Virgin Media’s debt levels as it pushes financing for the deal onto its new unit’s books.

Liberty Global agreed to buy Virgin Media for $16 billion in cash and stock in February in the biggest media deal since the merger that created Thomson Reuters Corp. in 2007. Malone is expanding across Europe, challenging Rupert Murdoch, who controls about 39 percent in British Sky Broadcasting Group Plc.

Within a week of announcing the deal, Virgin Media raised $3.65 billion in bonds and sought about $4.7 billion in loans as part of a financing package to help fund the acquisition.

The company is rated Ba1 at Moody’s. That’s one level below investment grade. Standard & Poor’s rates the company’s debt BB, two levels below investment grade. Both companies have a negative outlook on Virgin Media.

To contact the reporter on this story: Amy Thomson in London at athomson6@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Heather Smith at hsmith26@bloomberg.net

Please upgrade your Browser

Your browser is out-of-date. Please download one of these excellent browsers:

Chrome, Firefox, Safari, Opera or Internet Explorer.