PARIS, July 11, 2000 — Microsoft announced today that it has acquired a 22.98 percent shareholding in Telewest, the UK broadband operator. This investment will help both companies accelerate the deployment of broadband networks and services to consumers in the United Kingdom.
The two companies share a strategic vision of the value new, rich Internet services can offer to consumers. This agreement allows Telewest to continue its development as a leading UK broadband operator, delivering advanced interactive television, telephony and Internet services to consumers while furthering Microsoft’s commitment to help people take full advantage of the web lifestyle, benefiting from the broad possibilities and rich Internet services now becoming available.
John Leftwich, Vice President, Marketing at Microsoft Europe, Middle East and Africa said:
“We are very pleased to become an investor in Telewest, a recognized leader in the UK cable industry. This is a very dynamic sector and we continue to believe that significant investment is critical to deliver the bandwidth that customers are demanding. Partnerships with organizations like Telewest help us bring these benefits to customers faster.”
Adam Singer, Chief Executive Officer of Telewest added: “It’s tremendous to have Microsoft on board. To have the world’s greatest software company backing our broadband vision is hugely encouraging. It gives us not just access to technology skills and financial resources, but most of all to a wealth of intellectual capital to draw upon. With Microsoft and Liberty as our major shareholders, Telewest has a significant edge in the full contact sport that is UK broadband.”
The UK market has been aggressive in the adoption and consumption of digital services. Telewest is a leading provider of voice, data and television services in the UK, and offers a great opportunity for Microsoft to help deliver new technology and services to consumers.
“Microsoft is pleased to finalize this important investment in Telewest, and believe that Telewest’s approach to utilizing its cable infrastructure to deliver digital services to consumers will offer tremendous benefits to broadband reach, technological innovation and consumer choice,”
said Hank Vigil, Microsoft Vice President of consumer strategy and partnerships.
This announcement follows Friday’s declaration by the European Commission that Microsoft and Telewest could proceed with the investment. Microsoft is pleased with this resolution, which follows weeks of dialogue on suitable terms to address the European Commission’s terms.
Founded in 1975, Microsoft (Nasdaq “MSFT”) is the worldwide leader in software, services and Internet technologies for personal and business computing. The company offers a wide range of products and services designed to empower people through great software — any time, any place and on any device. Microsoft already holds a 1.97% stake in Telewest prior to this transaction.
Telewest Communications is a leading broadband cable communications operator, currently providing pay television, telephony and Internet services to 1.6 million UK households; and voice and data telecommunications services to over 60,000 business customers.
More than four million UK homes can now connect to Telewest’s broadband cable network, and 62 per cent of Telewest’s residential customers subscribe to two or more of its services.
Telewest’s ordinary share capital is listed on the London Stock Exchange and on the US NASDAQ National Market System.
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