A CONSORTIUM OF FOUR PRIVATE equity firms is looking at buying Virgin Media, the $8bn (£4bn) cable company involved in a spat with BSkyB and whose biggest shareholder is Sir Richard Branson, reports The Guardian .
The consortium is understood to include Carlyle, Providence Equity, Kohlberg Kravis Roberts and Cinven.
Goldman Sachs is thought to have been appointed to work on a potential sale of the group though it is not certain that a deal will materialise. Virgin Media and Virgin Group declined to comment yesterday.
Providence Equity is no stranger to Virgin Media, which was created from the merger of NTL-Telewest and Virgin Mobile. The private equity firm led a consortium in a $10bn approach last summer. The consortium that time also included Kohlberg Kravis Roberts and Cinven, as well as Blackstone.
The boom in Britain’s financial services businesses is set to lose steam during the present quarter, institutions across the industry predict, according to a key survey released today, reports The Times.
Business volumes across the banking, securities, insurance, fund management and building society sectors rose at their fastest pace in more than seven years over the past three months as financial groups enjoyed a third quarter in a row of strong growth, the survey from the CBI and PricewaterhouseCoopers found.
Yet in the latest sign that rising interest rates at home and abroad are beginning to take a toll of conditions, financial companies’ expectations of trading volumes for the present quarter have sunk to their weakest for more than 2½ years. Expectations of future trading income have also retreated, so that the rapid profit growth over the past quarter is now expected to reverse, with the sector gloomier over profitability prospects than at any time since March 2003.
TOURISM LEADERS IN SCOTLAND are to meet next week to conduct an urgent assessment of the impact of Saturday's al-Qaeda-style attack on Glasgow airport, reports The Scotsman.
As the car bomb assault on the terminal is the first in Scotland, with the potential to affect the volatile and security sensitive overseas travel market, there were fears last night that some overseas visitors would avoid Scotland out of fears for their safety or travelling convenience.
Philip Riddle, chief executive of VisitScotland, told The Scotsman yesterday that he would attend a meeting of the general action (GA) group of UK tourism leaders later this week, though he insisted that the potential impact of the weekend's events could only be fully assessed after further information from the security services:
"It's a shocking thing to happen in Scotland, and not primarily for tourism. Our concern is that the public services will get things back to normal as soon as possible.”
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