Virgin Mobile rejects NTL's $1.4B bid

Virgin Mobile's board has thrown cold water on NTL's initial bid to becoming one of the first veritable quadruple players. The board's decision did not come with a solicitation for a higher offer from their suitor, but many expect NTL to do just that. The company's statement did say it expects to reach an agreement with NTL, which is more or less a solicitation. The MVNO that has an agreement to sell wireless services under its brand name using Deutsche Telekom's network. Virgin Mobile claims 4 million wireless subscribers in the UK. Virgin Mobile USA would not be affected by the deal. Analysts expect the combined company to claim 9 million customers.

Before the board announced its decision, Richard Branson went on UK radio and said that the board wanted just another £25 million. If a deal goes through, Branson said he would sell his 71 percent stake in Virgin Mobile to NTL. Branson, who holds his Virgin Mobile stake though Virgin Group, will then buy 14 percent of the combined company. One media report suggested that Virgin Mobile could be looking for another bidder to step in since it said the price wasn't right, not that it wasn't for sale.

For more on the Virgin Mobile, NTL deal:
- take a look at this press release