Capping several days of speculation, Liberty Global (NASDAQ:LBTYA) and Virgin Media (NASDAQ:VMED) confirmed in a joint press release Tuesday that the former is to acquire the British company, subject to shareholder approval. The cash and stock deal has an enterprise value of $23.3 billion.

For each share they hold, Virgin Media stockholders will receive $17.50 in cash, 0.2582 Liberty Global Series A shares and 0.1928 Liberty Global Series C shares. According to the press release, this implies a buyout price of $47.87 for each Virgin Media share, or 24% higher than that stock's closing price on Feb. 4.

The buyout will significantly increase Colorado-based Liberty Global's presence in Europe. The press release [click  here to open a PDF version] quoted CEO Mike Fries as saying "After the deal, roughly 80% of Liberty Global's revenue will come from just five attractive and strong countries -- the U.K., Germany, Belgium, Switzerland and the Netherlands." The combined company will have 25 million customers in 14 countries.

The deal is subject to shareholder and regulator approval. It is expected to close in Q2 of this year.

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