Sir Richard reduces Virgin Media holding

Sir Richard Branson has sold a part of his stake in Virgin Media, reducing the Virgin Group holding from 10.45 to 6.5%, according to filings made with the US Securities and Exchange Commission.

Sir Richard moves from second to fourth place on the cablenet’s register of shareholders. The largest shareholder in Virgin Media is now Fidelity on 13.36%; Franklin Mutual Advisors holds approximately 10% and Wellington Management Company 8.58%.

The voting rights on 12.8 million shares have been transferred to Credit Suisse under a June 2007 hedging agreement that raised $224 million. The cash went towards the launch of Virgin Media in India, renewable energy transactions and the launch of the Virgin America airline.

“We took out this hedge in 2007 to provide future certainty of the value of our stake in Virgin Media, and to enable us to diversify our portfolio by providing funds to invest in new projects,” said a Virgin Group statement. “We remain very committed to the company,” it said.