Virgin completes refinancing
Virgin Media, the UKís sole significant cable operator, is completing its long road to restructuring its debt taken on through consolidation. Eamonn OíHare, finance director, says scheduled repayments have been reduced from £4.8 billion (E5.5bn) by 2012 to £325 million by 2013, and there is no single payment over £200 million before 2015. He says the much increased flexibility means there may be share buy backs or dividends and increased investment in the network.
The key to the restructure has been to move away from bank finance to long term bonds. The company says it has reversed the previous ratio and now has 75 per cent of its financing from bonds. Oíhare told the FT: "The markets didnít think Virgin Media could refinance £4 billion of debt ... but the business has proven the markets wrong.. and thatís why the share price is up 200 per cent in the last 12 months."