Exposť on Corporate Fraud - Asset Stripping - Mortgage Fraud - Stockmarket Collapses > TELEWEST plc and the big shareholder rip-off.

Intro - Telewest plc


Telewest, formerly Telewest Broadband and Telewest Communications, was a cable Internet, broadband internet, telephone supplier and cable television provider in the United Kingdom. It was listed on the London Stock Exchange and was one time constituent of the FTSE 100 Index.  Investors including many local Councils were encouraged to buy its shares as it was seen as a prime target for takeover by an American giant. Little did they know at that time that plans were in the pipeline to make Telewest a household name by other means.

In March 2006, Telewest merged with fellow cable telecom company NTL, and created 'NTL:Telewest', which then also merged with Virgin Mobile and Virgin.net in June 2006, creating the UK's first "quadruple play" telecom provider, offering television, internet, land-line phone and mobile phone services.

In February 2007, NTL:Telewest was re-branded as Virgin Media.

Telewest originated in Croydon in 1984 under the name "Croydon Cable". 

In 1988 United Cable of Denver, US, acquired Croydon Cable.  Franchises extended the company scope in Edinburgh and the south-west and south-east of England. In 1989 United Cable merged with United Artists Cable International.

In 1991 United Artists merged with their largest shareholder TCI (now Liberty Media), to form the largest cable operator in the US.   TCI and US West announced a joint venture, and in 1992 the joint venture company became Telewest Communications.

In 1995 Telewest merged with SBC Communications, adding franchises in the Midlands and North West serving 1.3 million homes.  During this time Telewest founded a consortium called Cable Internet.   This consisted of the major cable companies in the UK working together a provide national Internet access service.

In 1998 Telewest announced a merger with General Cable and acquired the outstanding interest in Birmingham Cable, adding a further 1.7 million franchise homes in Yorkshire, west London and Birmingham. Telewest purchased the remaining 50% stake in Cable London from NTL in 1999, adding 0.4 million franchise homes in north London.

In April 2000 Telewest merged with Flextech and in November extended its cable network with the acquisition of Eurobell, taking the total number of homes passed to 4.9 million. The company later became known as "Telewest Broadband" in a re-brand during 2001.

In subsequent years Telewest experienced many financial problems due to huge debts incurred as a result of constructing its cable network and of acquiring other cable companies and assets.  Notably the Eurobell acquisition had been funded by an equity based deal, with a cash option, the poor performance of the company's stock meant that the cash option was favourable, and the company was not able to cover the call.  In 2004 Telewest re-structured itself by swapping its unsecured debt for 98.5% of its shares.  The London FTSE then de-listed the consolidated shares. Major Telewest shareholders included Huff and Liberty Media (run by cable tycoon John Malone). Afterwards the company emerged from financial restructuring and completed a merger with NTL in 2006.

This is how the story reads on boards such as Wikipedia so now for the truth as to how thousands of ordinary investors like myself were sold down the river by a few unscrupulous corporate fraudsters.

It may help if I first of all explain that the Telewest plc share price went from £5.00 to 1 pence while all this so-called restructuring was going on.  Banks and other lenders were quite content to lend money to this company and talk up its stock while all the time they knew that a share collapse was imminent.  Needless to say, the bondholders came out of these events smelling of roses!

If you were a victim of this corporate manipulation and fraud please do get in touch.


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