Virgin Media says in talks with Liberty over 'possible' deal

British-based cable television firm Virgin Media said Tuesday that it was holding discussions with Liberty Global, following press reports that the US cable giant was readying a takeover bid.

"Virgin Media confirms that it is in discussions with Liberty Global, Inc., a leading international cable company, concerning a possible transaction," it said in a brief statement.

The group, which is quoted on Wall Street's tech-heavy Nasdaq index, added that any deal would be subject to regulatory and other conditions, while a further announcement would be made in due course.

The Financial Times had reported on Tuesday that Liberty Global was readying a bid that would value Virgin Media at more than $20 billion (14.8 billion euros). The daily business newspaper cited people familiar with the situation.

Virgin Media has approximately seven million customers in Britain, where it provides broadband Internet, telephone, television and mobile phone services. Its main competitor is pay-TV satellite broadcaster BSkyB.

The group was created from merging the British assets of US cable operator NTL and rival Telewest, and the purchase of mobile phone group Virgin Mobile in 2006.