Liberty Global to buy Virgin Media for $16B

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Cable TV operator Liberty Global Inc. is buying U.K.-based Virgin Media Inc. in a deal valued at $16 billion.

The two companies announced the deal late Tuesday, saying it will create a broadband communications company covering 47 million homes and with 25 million customers in 14 countries.

Liberty Global is owned by media mogul John Malone. It has pay-TV operations around the world and is the largest cable operator in most of its 11 European markets.

Virgin Media is the second biggest pay TV company in the U.K. after BSkyB. Virgin Group boss Richard Branson still holds a minority stake.

The cash and stock deal creates a company that will provide stiffer competition to satellite TV provider BSkyB.

Liberty Global will remain based in Englewood, Colo.

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