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Malone's Liberty Global completes $24-billion Virgin Media buy

Economy, Business and FinanceMedia IndustryCorporate OfficersLiberty Global IncorporatedLiberty Media CorporationJohn Malone

Media mogul John Malone's Liberty Global Plc has completed its acquisition of British pay-TV operator Virgin Media in a stock and cash deal valued at $24 billion, the company said Friday. 

The acquisition, which was announced in February, puts Englewood, Colo.-based Liberty in direct competition with News Corp.'s British Sky Broadcasting.

The deal expands Liberty's reach by raising its number of customers to 25 million, located mainly in Europe. 

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"We've never been more excited about the growth potential and strategic direction of our business," said Mike Fries, chief executive officer of Liberty Global, in a statement. 

Shares of Liberty rose about 2.5% to $75.22 in mid-day trading in New York. Virgin Media's shares increased about 2% to $50.60.

Former News International chief Tom Mockridge began his tenure as Virgin Media's CEO on Friday, replacing Neil Berkett.

In May, Malone's Liberty Media Inc. completed its acquisition of 27 percent of Charter Communications for $2.6 billion -- a deal that gives Liberty four seats on Charter's board. 

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Twitter: @rfaughnder

ryan.faughnder@latimes.com

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Economy, Business and FinanceMedia IndustryCorporate OfficersLiberty Global IncorporatedLiberty Media CorporationJohn Malone
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