Jobs at risk if Carlyle Group takeover of Virgin Media goes ahead, broadcast union Bectu warns

Broadcasting trade union Bectu has warned of impending job losses at Virgin Media following speculation in the press that it is the target of a private equity buyout.

The BBC reports that private-equity firm Carlyle Group has made an offer to purchase cable TV, mobile phone and broadband company Virgin Media for in excess of £10bn.

Carlyle Group appeared before the House of Commons Treasury Committee last month as part of its investigation into whether the private equity industry ought to be more transparent and tightly regulated.

Bectu said it was concerned by the growing trend for UK employers to be bought out by private equity bids which often left companies with large debts, and subsequently major job losses.

Nigel Mason, Bectu national official, said: “Clearly our members in Virgin will be disturbed by these rumours. There has been considerable debate of late about the role of private equity buyouts in the UK economy, and recent history warns us that these immensely complicated financial deals are often paid for with workers’ jobs.

“In the event of such a buyout we will be seeking assurances from the new owners regarding members’ jobs and terms and conditions,” he added.

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