[London, ENGLAND] European broadband telephone, TV and Internet
operator NTL is seeing its shares trade on the New York Stock
Exchange for the first time Friday.
At the same time, NTL is withdrawing its listing on Nasdaq where
it traded under the ticker symbol “NTLI.” The new ticker symbol
on NYSE is “NLI” — an abbreviation that is bound to cause
some confusion at first.
A major player in the U.K. and Europe, NTL acquired the consumer
and direct business operations of Cable & Wireless Communications
in May this year. Recently, it was in the news for having broken
off negotiations with the Football Association in the U.K. to
broadcast top soccer matches on a pay per view basis.
“NTL has grown significantly in the past couple of years, enhancing
our service and product offerings and expanding our European customer
base to approximately eight million,” said Barclay Knapp, NTL’s chief
Knapp added that given the size and the scope of NTL’s business, it
was now appropriate to list its shares on the New York Stock Exchange.
In the U.K., NTL provides telecoms carrier services for Virgin,
Orange and AT&T brands. It claims over half a million users
of the Virgin Internet service, although independent experts always point
out that the number of registered users of a free Internet service
is quite different from the much smaller number of active users.
There is, however, no disputing the scope and scale of NTL’s
overall business, with its interests in Ireland, France, Germany
and Switzerland, as well as South-East Asia and Australia.
Barclay Knapp said that increasing NTL’s visibility in the U.S.
and European capital markets is an important part of the company’s
growth strategy. The listing on the NYSE would make it easier for
the company to put its expansion plans into operation, said Knapp.
Earlier this week, NTL announced operating statistics for the
quarter ended September 30, 2000, showing an additional
73,900 residential subscribers to its bundled U.K. services.
“The third quarter was one of rapid expansion for our Internet
business, growing ntlworld’s customer base over 265 percent to
381,200 subscribers,” said Knapp, adding that NTL had also cleared
its service backlog and was currently experiencing no delays in
adding additional ntlworld subscribers.
NTL’s third quarter also witnessed a roll-out of high speed
Internet services in the U.K., Switzerland, France and Sweden.
The company claims that these franchises collectively served
approximately 80,000 high-speed Internet subscribers.
NTL, which in Europe is listed on the EASDAQ (ticker symbol:
“NTLI”), will now increase its efforts to get a full listing on
one of the major stock exchanges.